ESPN reports that as part of theMagic's increasingly embarrassing desperation to keep Dwight Howard, the team has offered to let him decide whether to fire head coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith.
One source close to the situation told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that the Magic have promised Howard that they will add a quality player before Thursday's deadline and that Howard can decide the fate of both GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy at the end of the season if he signs an extension.
viaSources -- Orlando Magic making push to placate Dwight Howard - ESPN.
Really? This is where we're at? Really?
If this report is true, and I'm choosing to not believe it because I just can't fathom any professional organization acting this spineless, even in sports, it would be an incomprehensibly pathetic move by the Magic. Dwight Howard knows more about basketball than you or I do in all likelihood. But he's 26 years old. You don't let 26-year-old centers decide who stays and who goes in your organization. You just don't do it.
If you don't feel that Van Gundy's .650 winning percentage is good enough, fine, fire him. Consult with Howard on who he wants. If you think Smith has made a mess of the team by bringing in players Dwight likes, the same mechanism you're pursuing, fine, fire him. But don't surrender your authority to one player. There will be another Dwight Howard in Orlando, just like there was another star after Shaq.
The idea is that the Magic have to offer this in order to counter the "Have the store" approach that the Nets are offering. And in that case, the Nets are lacking in the guts department as well. Dwight Howard is the best defensive player in the league over the past four years, the best center in the league by miles, and by all accounts, a very good person who is suffering from an ego trip under tremendous pressure and acclaim.
But don't give Howard the authority to fire a man who doesn't work for him, and don't surrender your own organization's dignity just to keep a half-decent hook shot, some dunks and some blocks. You have to draw the line somewhere.