Tag: Otis Smith

Dwight Howard

Magic GM Otis Smith says Dwight Howard did not ask him to fire Stan Van Gundy


Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy made quite a bit of noise on Thursday, when he went public with his knowledge that Dwight Howard asked the team to fire him. This information came right from the top of the organization, Van Gundy said, so there must be some truth to it, right?

Not so much, according to Magic GM Otis Smith.

In an interview before Orlando’s 88-82 win over the Sixers on Saturday, Smith told ESPN’s Lisa Salters that it didn’t happen. Well, sort of.

“He never asked me; I didn’t have that knowledge,” Smith said.

Van Gundy said Thursday he knew Howard, the Magic’s franchise player, had asked that he be fired. Smith said both parties were to blame for the public dispute.

“If he did ask he’s wrong, and for Stan to address it in public, that is wrong,” Smith said.

I have no idea why Smith continues to give interviews during nationally televised games on this subject; maybe he just likes the attention. He’s the only one, with the rest of us having tired of the drama that’s gone on in Orlando almost daily since the very beginning of the season.

You see the loophole here, right? Smith says Howard didn’t ask *him* to fire Van Gundy. That doesn’t mean Howard didn’t go over Smith’s head at some point and speak with ownership, or that Howard’s agent or someone else close to him didn’t make his wishes clear.

(And as an aside — of course Howard asked the Magic to fire Van Gundy. Just watch that video from Thursday; he couldn’t possibly look more disingenuous.)

Round and round we go, with the only thing certain in Orlando being the fact that Howard and Van Gundy must co-exist for the remainder of this season, and through whatever brief run into the postseason Orlando is able to make with all of this turmoil continuing to swirl.

If it feels like we’re going in circles with this story, it’s because the information out of Orlando lately has been nothing short of dizzying.

Magic deny report Howard can decide fate of coach, GM

Dwight Howard Stan Van Gundy

It’s nothing new for a star player to have sway over who gets chosen as coach or in the front office. Magic Johnson pushed Paul Westhead out to door after they had won a title, and the Clippers were rumored to make that pitch to LeBron James a couple of years ago (but I’m sure Vinny Del Negro would have been LeBron’s first choice… yea, right).

So it was not inconceivable when ESPN reported that Howard was told he could decide the fate of coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith if he stayed with the Magic.

However, the Magic quickly have come back and shot that down, as reported in the Orlando Sentinel.

Magic officials released a statement from Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins that read: “The only person(s) who have the final say on coaches and management is the Orlando Magic ownership.”

You can choose which side to believe. But the fact of the matter is it is much harder to come by one of the handful of genuine franchise players in the NBA than it is a good coach or GM. Simple rules of supply and demand.

Glen Davis to meet with Magic staff, likely back Monday

Orlando Magic
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After sitting out two games in a team suspension, Glen Davis is supposed to sit down and meet with Orlando GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy Monday and likely will be reinstated to play against the Clippers Monday night. So reports Marc Spears at Yahoo Sports.

Davis sat out games Friday and Saturday after getting into a heated argument with Van Gundy at shootaround Friday.

Davis’ play has been erratic this season — at times he’s been the physical force off the bench the Magic hoped he’d be, at other times he’s floated around on the perimeter and settled for jump shots. He’s averaging 7.3 points and five rebounds a game so far, shooting just 36.5 percent (well off the 44.8 percent he shot in Boston last season). His PER of 7.9 is well below his career average. There also have been reports of him arguing with fans at shootaround and being frustrated with his role in Orlando.

We’ll see what, if any, impact the suspension has on his focus.