Van Gundy Stands Up For Howard; The NBA Likes Mitt Romney

Are people really still criticizing great basketball players for wanting to play with other great players? Two years after LeBron went to Miami, four years after Boston brought together the Big Three, and about 50 years after Bill Russell played on some pretty loaded Celtics teams that everybody seems to love, this is still an issue? Jeff Van Gundy took his shot at schooling the ignorant while talking to ESPN about Dwight Howard‘s move to the star-studded Lakers: “If you’re Dwight, you’re looking around and saying, ‘I got to get somewhere where there’s more people somehow.’ Either they’ve got to come here, which if you don’t have a way to do that then you’ve got to go somewhere else.” The dumbest part of the whole thing is that we celebrate when GMs and owners assemble the most talent possible — every fan wants their favorite team to stack the deck — but somehow it’s bad when players want to assemble the most talent possible … In other Van Gundy family news, now that Stan Van Gundy doesn’t have to pretend to like anybody in Orlando, he’s going in on his former employers. In a recent radio interview, SVG honed in on Magic CEO Alex Martins, who had implied Stan couldn’t relate to his players. “It’s a typical lack of understanding from someone who has no sports knowledge, who has never coached or played, who has never been in a locker room,” Stan said. He later added, “I think Alex’s comments are based on the fact that Dwight and maybe others didn’t like me.” … This is the time of year when we start hearing left-field rumors tying overseas teams to unsigned NBA free agents. Real Madrid (Spain) is apparently interested in Darko, while Panathinaikos (Greece) is said to be pursuing Ben Wallace … The Hornets extended head coach Monty Williams for four more years. Apparently you can’t put “Until Anthony Davis decides he’s tired of you” into the language of a contract, so four years sounds like a safe number … Hit the jump to read about where NBA owners are flexing their political muscles…

According to HoopsHype.com, eight NBA team owners have made contributions to Mitt Romney‘s presidential campaign, while two have given money to Barack Obama‘s campaign. And among NBA players, coaches, staff and management combined, Romney has also raised more funds than Obama. In other news, rich people tend to be Republican … (We were gonna ask you all which NBA player seems like he’d be the best future presidential candidate, but it’s so obviously Grant Hill that it’s not even worth asking.) … Is it just us, or were NBA teams taking longer than usual to fill job vacancies this summer? The Blazers and Magic took forever to hire their head coaches, and the Sixers still haven’t hired a GM. Which is odd, because there are at least 50,000 qualified Sixers fans in Philadelphia who are absolutely convinced they can run the team better than anybody … So it’s not quite one of the now-legendary pickup basketball tales that emerged from Michael Jordan‘s Space Jam movie shoot, but we read a charming little story from actor Taylor Gray about filming Thunderstruck with Kevin Durant. Gray, whose character in the movie is like Bow Wow‘s in Like Mike, talked about the part of the movie when KD’s character has problems making a shot: “We had multiple days in a row where he was supposed to miss shots, but it was like impossible for him to miss. I’m like, ‘Dude, I’ll show you how to miss.'” … We can’t pretend we’re good enough citizens that we watched the Do Something Awards last night, but we heard Chris Bosh was in the building and presented an award … Enough about the 2012 Olympic team playing the 1992 Dream Team. What would happen if the 2012 U.S. team played a team of the best American players who weren’t at the London Games? Of course assuming everybody is healthy. So you’d have Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Durant, Andre Iguodala, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron, Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler and Anthony Davis … against a team like Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Danny Granger, Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin, Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire, Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. Who would win? … We’re out like Like Mike

For breaking news, rumors, exclusive content, and contests sent right to your inbox, sign up here for the Dime Email Newsletter.

Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook