Based upon original reports, Shaquille O’Neal was interested in the new vacancy left by Otis Smith as the GM of the Orlando Magic. However, recent reports suggest that he has declined to even interview with the Orlando Magic about the job.
"When I first heard about the vacancy for the Orlando Magic general manager position, I was clearly intrigued," O'Neal said in a statement Thursday. " I was drafted by the Magic, I have a great love for the franchise, and I have made the city of Orlando my home. Additionally, I have great admiration and respect for the DeVos family. However, this is not a job I have an interest in pursuing. I feel very fortunate to be with TNT and to have the best job in sports. I look forward to many more years with Charles (Barkley), Kenny (Smith) and E.J. (Ernie Johnson). I wish the best for the Magic and I am confident that they will select a great GM and coach."
With no experience as a General Manager, this was a win-win for the Orlando Magic and Shaq. The initial thought was that Shaq's presence alone could convince Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando, despite their public foibles. The reason for that is because the two big men have a much more harmonious relationship than people think.
However, it would've probably taken a lot more than Shaquille O’Neal to not only retain Dwight Howard, but also to convince other players to join such a precariously unstable franchise.
Sometimes the best decisions we make in life are the decisions we don't make. And this was clearly one of them.