The Orlando Magic really want to keep Dwight Howard after this season. Dwight Howard, slam dunk champion, is one of the best centers in the NBA and that’s a hard thing to come by these days. Orlando knows they have to do something big to convince Howard to resign with their team, and they’ve done it. Orlando CEO Alex Martins has fired coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith in the wake of another first-round collapse.
This has been a long time coming. Van Gundy has been really talking to the media lately and calling out his players publicly, and Dwight Howard looks like the SVG method is no longer working to fire him up given the way he quit on his team this season. While Martins and Orlando front office people are saying the firing of Van Gundy has nothing to do with Howard, we can believe it has everything to do with Howard. If you want to keep your best player, sometimes you have to push a coach out the door in spite of his skill. This might be what convinces Howard to resign with Orlando after his optional year is up.
Or, perhaps, Orlando will be really rebuilding after this season with a new coach, new general manager, and no star player to build around. That’s got to be the nightmare scenario for Martins and the Magic ownership, yet it’s also a very probable end result of all this business.
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