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.