Let’s face it, the Orlando Magic need a big splashy hires to replace Jeff Van Gundy and Otis Smith if they hope to have any chance of keeping Dwight Howard. And there would be no bigger splashy hire than bringing in Phil Jackson to run the team.
There was said to be interest on both sides, but the ship seemed to have sailed last week when the Orlando Sentinel reported that Phil Jackson was no longer in the mix for a job with the Magic.
But according to SI’s Sam Amick, the Magic are now considering a new detailed proposal that could land Phil Jackson the GM job in Orlando. And along with Jackson, the proposal would also bring Sam Vincent, Scottie Pippen, and Brian Shaw to the organization.
Five days after the Orlando Sentinel reported that the former Lakers and Bulls coach with 11 championship rings had “bowed out” of a plan to be the lead personnel man for the Magic, two sources close to the situation told SI.com that a revised version of the proposal that still included Jackson’s involvement was submitted to the team Tuesday morning.
Former Charlotte coach Sam Vincent, who played for the Bulls during Jackson’s days as an assistant in Chicago and also played for the Magic, continues to captain the cause that would have Jackson work remotely (likely from Los Angeles, where his longtime girlfriend, Jeanie Buss, remains with the Lakers) most of the time. Vincent would operate in a front-office role in the plan, while the team would be coached by a protégé (or two) of Jackson’s.
According to the sources, the latest version of the proposal has Pacers assistant and ex-Lakers assistant Brian Shaw coaching the team and Hall of Famer and Bulls ambassador Scottie Pippen as the lead assistant. And as if Jackson’s potential price tag wasn’t daunting enough (he earned $12 million in his last year with the Lakers), one of the sources said he is asking for a slice of minority ownership in the franchise as well. The hope, of course, would be for Jackson to use his cachet to convince Dwight Howard to remain in Orlando for the long-term. Jackson’s agent, Todd Musburger, did not return a call for comment.
A very intriguing proposal indeed. But it seems that Magic CEO Alex Martins may not be very fond of the idea. Mainly because of Jackson’s desire to work remotely from Los Angeles.
Yet fascinating as the idea might be, Magic CEO Alex Martins appears to be against the idea of having an absentee leader — no matter how many rings he has. In the plan, Jackson — according to one of the sources — would work in Orlando one week out of every month and agree to make six community appearances every month as well. Martins has been on the lookout for a general manager of a very different ilk since firing former general manager Otis Smith on May 21, preferring someone who, among other qualities, would be in the office daily.
Not quite sure how we feel about this. On one hand, there’s no guarantee that this keeps Howard in Orlando. It sounds like a no-brainer for Howard, but you never know about Howard these days.
On the other hand, Alex Martins wants his GM to be in the office. He’s the CEO, so you really can’t argue that. Add to the fact that though he has years as an assistant, this would be Shaw’s first job. This would definitely be a big risk.
But if the Magic really think that they need something that can sway Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando, not sure if they can do anything better than this.