Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shaq, Magic to talk GM job

The Orlando Magic is set to meet with former star Shaquille O'Neal about the team's vacant general manager position next week, ESPN reported Wednesday, citing sources.

O'Neal, who spent his first four NBA seasons in Orlando, would be an odd choice, given he has no front-office experience and has had a longstanding feud with Magic superstar Dwight Howard.

The 40-year-old has constantly needled Howard over his use of the "Superman" nickname, which O'Neal claims belongs to him.

O'Neal, who is in his first season as an analyst for TNT, has also labeled the Lakers' Andrew Bynum the best big man in the NBA, even though it is widely believed that the title belongs to Howard.

The Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy on Monday following a tumultuous season in which he clashed publicly with Howard, and the team also announced it had mutually parted ways with general manager Otis Smith.

The situation with Van Gundy and Howard culminated in early April when the coach revealed that the three-time Defensive Player of the Year had asked for him to be fired.

The earlier part of the shortened season was marked by near-daily speculation about whether the team would be forced to trade Howard. In a dramatic shift at the trade deadline, the 26-year-old declared he would opt in for the final year of his contract in 2012-13.

However, the team's next coach and general manager will enter amid continued uncertainty over whether Howard will sign a long-term extension to stay in Orlando.

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