Mark Cuban saw Magic's 'internal issue' coming

DALLAS -- No controversy involving the Mavericks can pass without Mark Cuban being asked for comment.

So we asked him to weigh in on the infamous, invisible haymakers thrown by Brendan Haywood at Dwight Howard's lower back. Or so Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said, at least.

“That’s an internal issue,” Cuban said. “To me, teams have to manage their own internal issues and that’s one of the ways you do it. So who knows?”

Cuban declined to elaborate, so it’d be inaccurate to report that he said it was a desperate attempt by Van Gundy to salvage his relationship with the Magic's superstar by making a big scene of sticking up for Howard. Cuban just implied that.

Give Cuban credit for seeing through the bull, which he’s pretty good at spreading himself when he sees fit. He made his “internal issue” comment Wednesday evening, well before Van Gundy pulled back the curtain after the Magic’s morning shootaround and let the world know that management had confirmed that Howard had lobbied for the coach’s firing.

So, just to be clear on all this, Van Gundy’s complaints about Haywood punching Howard in the back were probably part of an effort to prevent Howard from stabbing Van Gundy in the back.