Today the team took a step forward in their search for a general manager, inviting a very high-profile candidate to interview. It might surprise you to know that he holds a doctorate degree. He is also married to a reality television star.
The Magic brass have Shaquille O’Neal among their list of candidates, according to ESPN.
The team reportedly fired a coach, Stan Van Gundy, at Howard’s behest and lost their General Manager, Otis Smith, in the process. Smith was collateral damage, as he took a stand on principle. He decided that he would leave if Van Gundy was gone.
Now it seems that a circus may ensue.
It is ironic that the Magic front office believes that O’Neal’s presence will help persuade Howard to remain in Orlando for two reasons.
1. In the same position, O’Neal bolted for a bigger market.
2. Howard allegedly left LA off a list of possible destinations so as not to follow in O’Neal’s footsteps.
How does bringing him to Orlando remove that perception? To me it seems to only enhance that perception.
Apparently Howard and O’Neal have created a friendship, seemingly over their kinship in dislike for Van Gundy and the criticism that Howard has faced throughout the course of the year.
According to ESPN “sources close to both Howard and O’Neal insist that the two privately have a friendly relationship and often send text messages to one another. In fact, O’Neal has often been a confidante for Howard during this trying season in Orlando. The Magic front office refused to comment on the situation.”