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.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s a popular television show called Intervention where families confront a sick individual battling an addiction.
Perhaps you have seen it on A&E. Perhaps not.
Hopefully, someone in the Orlando Magic ownership group has seen Intervention. And hopefully, they confront President Alex Martin about his disease: appeasing Dwight Howard.
Sure, Howard is the top center in the NBA, but he has yet to win a championship, an MVP trophy, or even develop a go-to move on the offensive end.
He is raw, immature, and has handled his pending free agency like a teen pop diva. Annoying teen crooner Justin Beiber is more professional than Howard.
Still, the Magic continue to give Howard whatever he likes, or whatever they think he’ll like in order to have him stay.
They’ve assumed several bad contracts in an attempt to give Howard a worthy supporting cast. Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu all backfired and destroyed the team's financial flexibility.
Recent reports have surfaced that the Magic are chasing Monta Ellis because they think a shot-happy, crass combo guard will convince Howard to play through 2013 and sign a long-term extension.
HoopsVibe has given our opinion on Ellis before. He's not the answer.
Today, reports are surfacing that Magic President Alex Martin has told Howard he can decide the fate of coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith.
Sadly, the inmate is now running the entire asylum.
Van Gundy and Smith may deserve to be fired. This is not Howard’s decision to make, though. He is the player. Van Gundy is the coach. Smith is the manager.
If Martin offered to fire Van Gundy and Smith to appease Howard, then a point of no return has been established.
Simply put, Howard can't return. Suppose he signed an extension with the Magic. No coach, executive, or teammate would criticize him because doing so may get them fired, traded, or released.
Bottom line: good organizations do not operate in such a fashion.
So Magic ownership must intervene. They must empower Smith to immediately get the best possible package for Howard - even if that’s 80 or 90 cents on the dollar - because keeping him would encourage dysfunction.
Then ownership must review how the entire organization, top to bottom, has handled 'Howard-gate' and make changes. Appeasing an NBA superstar is a disease that must be cured.
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