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Dwight Howard

I'm NOT to Blame

for Van Gundy's Firing

5/24/2012 2:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

052412_dwight_howard_launch
Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard says he had NOTHING to do with the team's decision to fire head coach Stan Van Gundy ... telling TMZ, "I hate to see anyone lose their job."

Howard -- who's still rehabbing from back surgery in L.A. -- was out in Beverly Hills this morning when we asked how he felt about his coach's recent termination.

"Me and Stan ... we had our ups and downs ... but for the most part we had one goal ... to win a championship in Orlando, but we fell short."

When asked about speculation that he had a role in the decision to can Stan, Howard told us, "I'm glad [Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins] confirmed I had nothing to do with it."

Howard is also concerned about an interview scheduled to air on ESPN tomorrow night -- telling us it was shot back in April ... and insists the content is "old and inaccurate."

Though Howard didn't say which part of the interview he was referring to specifically ... he did warn, "A lot of stuff has changed since then."

Bonus -- Wanna know which team Dwight picks to win the NBA Championship? Watch the clip.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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