We are still learning a lot about our new general manager. A good chunk of his press conference was spent focusing on his age and how young he is. It is incredible what he has done by the age of 30 (I have a lot of catching up to do!). But Hennigan is more than just an age.
As Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel describes, Hennigan is a pragmatist who was successful on the basketball court and a rock for his teams. He seems like the perfect guy to manage and lead a team's front office:
People who watched new Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan play basketball in high school and in college remember him as an excellent outside shooter. But those closest to him also marvel at something else: how he reacted after he put up shots.
Make or miss, he never got too high or too low.
As a freshman at Emerson College, he sank the game-winning 3-pointer in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals to lift his team to a win. Teammates jumped up and down, but Hennigan just pumped his fist.
Time to hear from a Magic player for a change.
Glen Davis is still longboarding around Orlando as he is getting himself ready for the 2013 season and enjoying some of his offseason. Abe Schwadron of SLAM Magazine's Being Billy Hoyle caught up with Davis as he promotes his new line of headphones and looks back on his time with the Celtics and his first year with the Magic:
SLAM: You're on Twitter, you watch SportsCenter, with all the stuff between Dwight and Stan this year, how did you deal with it all, and where was your outlet?
GD: There's really no outlet. The team, we try to stick together, try to let each other know, but I don't think as a team we did as well as we should have. There were some things that we should have done differently, as far as dealing with Dwight and things that were going on, it could have been done a little differently. But sometimes we don't hear stuff until you guys hear it, and I don't think the media should know before the team. That's one of the problems we had on our team was trust, and a family-oriented team, things we didn't have. At the end of the day, we just tried to work through it and take it as it is.
We have one game in the books for the NBA Finals. So why not get a taste of a little preview. I joined the crew at Hoops Manifesto for a preview. Be sure to check it out... here is a taste:
"I am going to take the Thunder in 7. This series is going to be incredibly tight and both teams are going to get the high-speed pace they want. There were a lot of things Oklahoma City can learn from Boston, though. The Celtics slowed the Heat down thanks to a constant attack of the center-less Heat. Getting Chris Bosh back is absolutely important for this series. The Thunder though have advantages where the Heat are weak. Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka are able to protect the rim andRussell Westbrook could be in for a big series if the Heat leave their point guards on him."
This year is the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team and there is a lot of nostalgia going on. Lang Whitaker penned/coordinated/organized a fantastic oral history of the whole Dream Team experience. Here is a sample:
Allan Houston: We were asked to play a style that they hadn't really seen a lot of yet. We figured we had nothing to lose. So we go in there, and Penny gets a couple dunks. I remember hitting a couple of shots. Everybody's kind of flowing.
Penny Hardaway (college squad player): They just thought, "Okay, they got these young guys to give us a little warm-up. We're going to beat them up a little bit, sign a couple autographs, and then everybody go on about their merry way." They didn't know how talented we really were.
Brian McIntyre (NBA vice president of public relations): Penny had a couple of steals at midcourt, and everyone was going, "Whoa." There was—I can still feel it—there was tension. First day!
Charles Barkley (Team USA power forward): The first time we saw them, they looked like babies. We were like, "Hey, man, let's don't kill these little kids." And they were playing like it was Game 7. Before we knew it, they upset us.
Houston: The clock ran out—we had a twenty-minute clock—and we were up. And everybody looked around sheepishly, like, This is not supposed to happen. Nobody said anything for a few minutes.
As much as everyone wants Stan Van Gundy to start doing ESPN and enter broadcasting for the sheer entertainment value, don't expect it to happen. Van Gundy broke his silence, granting the first interview I have seen at least since he was fired, by going on the Dan Le Batard Show in Miami.
He spoke to Le Batard about some of his favorite subjects, particular the media's view and evaluation of coaches. It was Stan Van Gundy at his best:
What are your thoughts on Chris Broussard writing that Erik Spoelstra is in over his head?:
"Well, there's a number of thoughts there. My first thought is that Chris Broussard has no knowledge of coaching and wouldn't know it if he saw it.
"My second thought is this: When he says they need somebody of the ilk of Phil Jackson, Pat Riley and Gregg Popovich, two thoughts on that, there aren't many guys of that ilk, period … and second of all, if that's the ilk they need, maybe they're not that damn good anyway. And my third thing is, in the game today, there aren't many guys as good as Erik Spoelstra.
"And I would cite a couple things, rather than just an opinion. . . . That is the best defensive team that I have ever seen that doesn't have size. I've never seen an elite defensive team in the NBA, until this Miami team, that doesn't have size. To me, there has to be a hell of a lot of coaching in there."
Definitely starting to miss Van Gundy already.
The Magic are still hunting for a GM, look for a brief update on that later today over at Crossover Chronicles, and there appears to be no leader.
One rumor just will not die though. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated is reporting that Sam Vincent is preparing to present another plan to Magic brass that would put Phil Jackson in some role with the franchise:
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.
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.Vincent declined to comment when the Orlando Sentinel reached him today. Robbins reports the Magic are hoping to have a GM in place by the middle of the month.