NBA legend Dwight Howard showed his love and support for his former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, whose wife Kimbery Jane Van Gundy recently passed away.

Kim “unexpectedly” died on August 16, according to her obituary. No official cause of death has been revealed.

“Kimberly Jane Abbott Van Gundy passed away unexpectedly on August 16, 2023. She leaves behind her husband, Stan, and four children, Shannon, Michael, Alison, and Kelly,” the obituary reads. “She is also survived by her mother, Jane Dennan (James), her father, Ernest Abbott (Kate), her brothers, Kevin (Debe) and Keith (Abigail) Abbott and Kristopher (Roseanne) Dennan, and her two sisters Elizabeth (Burton) McKenzie and Catherine (Michael-Ryan) McCarty as well as 13 nieces and nephews.”

Howard, who spent the majority of his Magic career with Van Gundy at the coaching helm, joined his former teammates in a trip to Orlando to show their support and offer their condolences to their former coach. The eight-time All-Star and one-time NBA champion also took it to Instagram to share an emotional message for Stan, highlighting that he and the Magic will always be there for him.

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“Stan I will always be there for you! We’ve been through it all, and these are the times that we need each other the most. My deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers go out to you from the bottom of my heart,” Howard said before finishing his message with, “Mrs. Kim you will forever be missed, but rest easy knowing we got him from here on out.”

Dwight Howard reflects on relationship with Stan Van Gundy

Aside from offering his support to Stan Van Gundy, however, Dwight Howard also reflected on his testy relationship with the former NBA coach and now TNT analyst in his message. Howard has  nothing but respect for Van Gundy, adding that they were the “s**t  together.”

Reuniting with Van Gundy and his old Magic teammates made Howard appreciative of the time they had together. While Howard wished their reunion could have come at different circumstances, he noted that he'll never forget what Van Gundy has done for him.

And now that he has the chance to be there to support Van Gundy, Howard is making sure he's doing everything he can to help him.

“I want you to know that myself and everyone from our Orlando team loves you and has your back through this time! We shared some of the best years of our lives [and] made it to the top together and coming back together, seeing all the family, teammates, friends, coaches, trainers just brought back so many memories. We was the s**t together‼️ And damn looking back on everything, I never knew what it really meant when the Magic ownership told me they built an arena for me. What that stood for, what they saw in me, what you saw in me; that I wasn't quite seeing in myself.  You all saw me as a legend before I made any strides to become Legendary, and I am forever grateful for that,” Howard said.

“At that particular time all I could see was my own ego, but that is why life experiences are the greatest teachers.  Even in the midst of sadness, having a chance to go back this past weekend where it all started was so amazing. I really missed this beautiful city and y'all.  Even though coming to Orlando at a time like this brought so much pain. Having us come back together just made me appreciate all the amazing moments that make this my home, despite the miscommunication or trials we've been through.  I am so grateful for my lessons and what they have taught me.  I value those lessons, I value Orlando, and I value the moments we had good and bad.”

Howard and Van Gundy's relationship is definitely intriguing. For those not in the know, back in 2012, there were rumors that came out stating he wanted the coach fired from the Magic. Howard has repeatedly denied those allegations, though that moment was definitely a major talking point when discussing their relationship.

Obviously, it's all in the past now. Both Howard and Van Gundy have moved on from the issue and in their respective lives and careers, and clearly, they have a good relationship and there remains mutual respect and love for each other.

Hopefully, we can see Howard and Van Gundy together again in the future. While Van Gundy is working as an analyst, Howard continues his playing career overseas–though he's not giving up on his NBA comeback bid just yet.