The Walk of Shame …… 06/06/2012 00:14 AM (EST)
So in their infinite wisdom the Orlando Magic will seek to hire former Los Angeles Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson as a special consultant to the organization , with regard to player personnel decisions . It’s somewhat similar to the role that Jerry West now undertakes with the Golden State Warriors . With the firing of Stan Van Gundy and the jettisoning of Otis Smith _____ the organization’s hierarchy led by COO Alex Martins now has to hire a new coach and general manager , as quickly as possible , in lieu of the upcoming NBA Draft . While this now becomes a matter of urgency for the franchise. Overtures had been made prior to the end of the NBA regular season when Martins had been in contact with the Boston Celtics’ head coach Doc Rivers . As you may well be aware , Rivers served the team in the same capacity from 1999-2000 , before being released by the club. In the years since the coach’s departure , things haven’t been a relished ride that would excite the Magic’s fans . More highs, than lows , over the ensuing decade plus albeit that the organization drafted Dwight Howard but that in of-itself hasn’t been enough to satisfy the most discerning of Magic fans .
Slide show for your perusal .
I do believe that in the aftermath of a horrendous season and a postseason appearance that simply mirrored the team’s …. mediocrity in more ways than one would care to acknowledge . Stan Van Gundy in essence , lost complete control of this team while he sought to apportion blame elsewhere . If that wasn’t enough his well chronicled flare up with Dwight Howard had pretty much in essence put an end to Van Gundy’s tenure with the Orlando Magic . I don’t believe that Jackson would be interested in a return to the NBA , as it seems something of a major step down for the well-respected coach. He had no intention of returning to New York to join the New York Knicks (joining them as a consultant) even when it was being speculated on and became a matter of conjecture amongst insiders (analysts) and a number of front office executives .
If there is to be a hire by the Orlando Magic, then I believe it will likely come from the club seeking a successor via an assistant with a current team within the league. Granted , they may well go outside this sphere , and gauge the interest of a high profiled college coach . Among the candidates I believe would be viable , the names of Tom Izzo , Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan are likely nominees for the position . Much of this however , will be predicated upon the mindset of Alex Martins and team owner Rich De Vos .
One potential candidate overlooked , is Brian Shaw but the Magic still has within their organization on the coaching staff , Stan Van Gundy’s head assistant Patrick Ewing . The former player yearns to be given the chance to become a head coach within the NBA . Certainly , neither he or Shaw could be any worse than Van Gundy . Or could they ? Chime in with a thought .
There are so many issues facing the Orlando Magic and a great deal of that was of the organization’s own making . It is hard to see how a team with so much ambition failed so miserably but in reality you simply have to look at many of the decisions made by Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith , jointly , as it relates to many of the personnel decisions made by the duo. Countless millions were spent on talent that simply wasn’t anywhere competitive over the course of the season . And with Dwight Howard now said to be non-committal to his future with the Orlando Magic , it could very well be back to the drawing board should the player seek a trade to a contender. Martins may well grant the player his wish , or they could very well use him as trade-bait during the NBA Draft .
To my mind , Dwight Howard has become an irascible and petulant child , who in essence has shown that for all of his abilities , he has yet to show that he can lead a team ! He certainly hasn’t shown that trait whilst with the Magic , in spite of the belief he is one of the best centers in the NBA , playing today . Statistically , Howard and Andrew Bynum could lay the claim to that mantel but here too , you have another rather immature player in Bynum , who has not showed himself to be a leader . Unfortunately , it is a sign of the times within the NBA where the players are now said to be bigger than the teams that they play for. Again and pointedly, it all comes down to “ monster” created by NBA Commissioner David Stern ! For the commissioner he’s seen fit to make today’s NBA about the marquee players, rather than the teams .
The NBA Draft should prove to be interesting and the mockery that just happens to be Draft Lottery with the New Orleans Hornets . The Hornets will have the privilege of taking the number one overall pick in the Draft and in doing they dashed the hopes of the beleaguered Charlotte Bobcats . And for Michael Jordan as the owner of this franchise , it has to be said the fact that they will be unable to acquire the best player available in this draft. The Kentucky Wildcats’ Anthony Davis coming off an NCAA title season as well as the AP College Player of the Year and Wooden Award winner has been described as the best college player to enter the Draft since the Boston Celtics’ great Bill Russell . A game changer and a player whose proven abilities were on display throughout the Wildcats’ season .
I am not so sure that in light of the Bobcats’ miserable 2011 foray (7-59, .112) simply stirred up memories of the 73-74 Philadelphia 76ers (9-73) now infamous season . Jordan alongside front office executives may well be in for an arduous off-season in seeking to rejuvenate his franchise. Since acquiring the basketball franchise for a reputed $375 million from billionaire entrepreneur Robert L Johnson , the franchise has been in a state of disrepair both on and off the field of play. Sparsely attended games at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte , North Carolina has pretty summed up some of the problems that the club has continually faced as a small-market team in the NBA . And clearly it simply hasn’t sank in with NBA Commissioner David Stern and the senior executives of the NBA hierarchy . I don’t believe that there’s much else left to say concerning one of the league’s least supported teams and who also just happens to be amongst the least viable in terms of value , when you also consider their dire economic season . Jordan and the senior executives will be under a great deal of pressure this off-season as the franchise needs to seek a replacement for the departed head coach Paul Silas . The former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan is said to be the only candidate granted an interview so far , and it appears he will be the favorite to succeed the well-respected Silas.
The NBA Playoffs have now taken on a life of their own , especially as it relates to the conference finals . Nowhere is this now more self-evident than with the Western Conference Finals . Tied at (2-2) two games apiece the San Antonio Spurs now find themselves on the verge of bowing out of this series . In the waning moments of game five they find themselves on the verge of elimination having lost their game 108-103 at home in the AT& T Center , San Antonio, Texas , . . Unbeaten in their last twenty games before facing the Oklahoma City Thunder in this series . Now in their last three games it has been the Thunder on the march while the obstacles for the Spurs are like remnants of quicksand around the ankles of Gregg Popovich’s …… players . This series has spoken volumes as to the competitiveness of both teams , with the Spurs and Thunder giving it their all . The Western Conference Finals reverts back to Oklahoma City for game six on Wednesday night, where the Chesapeake Energy Center will be rocking inside that cavernous venue. The home fans will be looking to celebrate alongside cott Brooks and his team , as they seek that series victory and make their way to their first appearance in the NBA Finals . Kudos to the Thunder and an outstanding series , as they have now proven to be better team when it mattered the most .
Turnovers have been the Achilles’ Heel for the Spurs throughout the course of this series and it hasn’t ….. augured well for Gregg Popovich and his players . The boon here is , that when it is all said and done , one can either state categorically that this series was simply won because one team desired the victory more . Whereas the other sought to simply play , merely because of being there , and in doing so they let complacency set in . The long walk of shame is about to begin . Your thoughts ?
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the salient points concerning this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) DENVER, CO – APRIL 22: Head coach Stan Van Gundy leads the Orlando Magic against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on April 22, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. It was reported on May 21, 2012 that the Orlando Magic fired Head Coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …
(2) Orlando Magic COO Alex Martins is seen here leaving the dais having made the formal announcement that Stan Van Gundy had been fired and that GM Otis Smith was relieved of his role within the organization. A strenuous search is now underway as the Magic now seeks a new head coach and general manager. Martins has reached out to former Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach Phil Jackson to gauge his interest in becoming a special consultant with the Orlando Magic. AP Photo/ Philip Baker …
(3) FILE – In this April 13, 2012, file photo, New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson answers questions at a news conference after the NBA Board of Governors meetings in New York. The Hornets won the lottery for the league’s No. 1 draft pick, Wednesday, May 30, in New York. AP Photo/Richard Drew …
(4) Eric Gordon (10) of the New Orleans Hornets is fouled by Mo Williams (25) of the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center on April 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …
(5)Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan speaks during an NBA basketball news conference in Charlotte, N.C. After the worst season in league history, Jordan and the Bobcats are hoping that their 25 percent chance of earning the No. 1 pick in the lottery on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, for next month’s draft pays . AP Photo/ Gary Wilkinson …..
(6) Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan speaks during an NBA basketball news conference in Charlotte, N.C. After the worst season in league history, Jordan and the Bobcats are hoping that their 25 percent chance of earning the No. 1 pick in the lottery on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, for next month’s draft pays off. AP Photo/Chuck Burton … (6) CHARLOTTE, NC – MARCH 13: Michael Jordan of the Charlotte Bobcats and Fred Whitfield answers questions about the team on March 13, 2007 at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images …
(7) Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant watches his shot fall against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of Game 5 in the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, June 4, 2012, in San Antonio. The Thunder won 108-103 . AP Photo/Eric Gay …
(8) SAN ANTONIO, TX – JUNE 04 : Nick Collison (4) of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks the ball against Stephen Jackson (3) of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on June 4, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Pool/Getty Images …
(9) Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt embraces head coach Scott Brooks after Game 5 in the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs, Monday, June 4, 2012, in San Antonio. The Thunder won 108-103. AP Photo/Darren Abate ..
(10) Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates late in the game after hit a free throw against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on June 4, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images …
(11) SAN ANTONIO, TX – JUNE 04: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs reacts from the bench against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on June 4, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images …