Shaquille O’Neal: The Future GM of the Orlando Magic?

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Shaquille O'Neal

It’s interesting how things work. Everything seems to come full-circle more times than not. Shaquille O’Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic way back in 1992. He spent four very productive years with the Magic before leaving Disney World for Los Angeles. Remember that O’Neal left for more money. Now, it’s reported that he might have an interview for the GM job of the Magic.

If this rumor is true, what could be in-store for current Magic big-man Dwight Howard? There are a lot of difference between Shaq and Howard, and Shaq has had no problem saying it publicly. Shaq has taken many shots at Howard, calling himself the original Superman and has said that current Lakers’ center Andrew Bynum is the best center in the NBA.

Despite the war-of-words between these two big-men, they have more in common than they might know. They are bad free-throw shooters, play the center position, give themselves nicknames, try to be funny with the media, and, well that’s about it. I have a feeling that Shaq will always have the better career. He has four titles and has scored over 28,000 points. He was the most dominant player to ever play basketball and played up to his potential. Howard has more than talent than 99% of the league, but he doesn’t know what to do with it. He has been dominant at times, but he has been inconsistent more times than he has been consistent.

Here’s an interesting fact though: Shaq was a 52.7% free-throw shooter throughout his career. If he had been a 60% free-throw shooter, Shaq would have scored 816 more points in his career. If he had been a 65% free-throw shooter, he would have scored 1378 more points, and if he had been a 70% free-throw shooter, he would have scored 1941 more points.

OK, back to Shaq possibly becoming a GM.

It’s well documented that Howard was pissed-off at former head coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. Howard and Van Gundy had their awkward spat almost two months ago. Smith said he would put viable pieces around Howard and that didn’t happen. Two days ago both Van Gundy and Smith were fired, leaving the head coaching and GM seats unattended, and Howard at the top of the pyramid.

I think it would be very interesting if Shaq became the GM for the organization that drafted him.

It would certainly make next year more interesting, as Howard will have the option to become a free agent or sign a new contract with the Magic next summer.

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