Coach Jeff Van Gundy & GM Otis Smith Fired by the Orlando Magic

Coach Jeff Van Gundy & GM Otis Smith Fired by the Orlando Magic

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After months of speculation about the star player Dwight Howard having control over his destiny, coach Stan Van Gundy was relieved of his duties on Monday along with General Manager Otis Smith as reported by Yahoo!. This should come as no surprise as almost every one knew it would come down to a decision of the player or the coach, and in scenarios like these, the player usually wins out.

 

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However the Magic were in a precarious position. Do they side with the coach and alienate the superstar they are aiming to keep, or concede to the players’ wishes essentially given him full autonomy? I’m not saying the Magic were wrong for firing Van Gundy and Smith, because they’ve obviously had their mishaps in their performance, but what if this blows up in their face and he leave or they end up trading him anyway? Then you lost out on a good coach and decent general manager all for a player you who didn’t stay in the end.

However, the Magic sound so far like they’ve decided to not let the saga drag on into the season unlike last year. They’re saying they plan on forcing Dwight Howards’ hand in giving them an answer on whether he’s going to sign a long term contract or not, so they can weigh their options via trade.

At some point teams are going to have to stand up to players and not let them hold their organization hostage. I’m all for players having more control over their own destiny and where they want to play. But c’mon, there comes a point to where it’s just bad business and hurting your image. Though Chris Paul of the L.A. Clippers has done the same thing, forcing his way out of New Orleans, he did it quietly. He let management know of his desire to play elsewhere and they’d be best serve to get something for him. He didn’t waffle in the media with his comments and he didn’t lead on the organization. He made his decision and stuck to it. Dwight has flipped flopped more than a fish out of water with his statements, while his actions has shown that he has very little desire to remain in Orlando unless he has to.

I know it’s not all superstar players, but the few that handle their business all wrong make it all bad for the others, and we know how perception works, and how easy it is to change once people get their mind made up on something (not that easy actually). Hopefully the Magic send Howard somewhere he wants to go and Commissioner David Stern vetoes it for ‘basketball reasons’. Oh the fun that can be had again this summer with that explanation.
 

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