Say Hello To The Big Executive?

HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — We can see it now: Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited”  blaring from the sound system and a suited and booted Shaquille O’Neal walking to the podium as he’s introduced as the Orlando Magic’s new general manager.

Don’t laugh. It might not be as far-fetched as it sounds.

An ESPN report that TNT’s O’Neal will speak with the Magic about the opening next week has NOT been confirmed by either side. But it hasn’t been scuttled by either side either … not yet, at least. O’Neal’s Inside colleague Charles Barkley confirmed Shaq’s interest it this morning on The Dan Patrick Show:

Dan asked Barkley if Shaquille O’Neal has told him he’s is interested in the Orlando GM job. “Yes,” Barkley said. “I do know he’s interested in the job and he’s going to interview for it.”

Barkley said O’Neal and Dwight Howard have had issues in the past, but that doesn’t mean Shaq can’t go to Orlando.

Barkley thinks Howard needs to make a decision and stay or go in Orlando. He’s sick of talking about it.

“They’re trying to do anything they can to keep Dwight there and get a buzz,” Barkley said. “They have to do something whether Dwight stays there or not. Bringing in Shaquille is an attention getter.”

This gives folks a license to let their imaginations run wild with images of O’Neal back in the city where his Hall of Fame playing career began, the same city he calls home. If Shaq is on the short list of people the Magic want to talk to about replacing Otis Smith, it is noteworthy. Especially considering the nature of his departure from the Magic in 1996 for the Los Angeles Lakers.

O’Neal hasn’t even finished his first year of retirement and already his name is popping up in a GM search. That’s impressive, no matter how it all transpired.

We first heard of this Monday night, when the Magic announced their mutual parting of the ways with Smith and the firing of Stan Van Gundy, never an O’Neal favorite during his playing days in Miami.

That mutual disdain for Van Gundy would certainly be a talking point for Shaq the GM (we’re going to start referring to him as the Big Executive now) and Howard, who co-opted Shaq’s Superman moniker a few years back. O’Neal has been pointed in his criticisms of Howard in the past, so that sit-down discussion, if it ever happened, would be a made-for-TV event.

To his credit, O’Neal has been adamant all along about Howard needing to stay in Orlando and fight off the rumors about Howard wanting to make his own escape this summer.

“I just don’t know why he would want to leave Orlando to go to New Jersey or anywhere else,” Shaq said in March. “He’s got the nicest arena in the country, the DeVos family do a great job and the organization is first-class.”

That’s not hollow praise from O’Neal, who has always maintained his love for Orlando, the Magic and the DeVos family. And from what we’ve been told this isn’t just a publicity stunt. Shaq is serious about transitioning into the front office some day, according to a couple of sources close to the situation. The Magic opening just happened to drop at just the right time.

Still, the notion of an inexperienced Shaq taking over the Magic’s basketball operation is worrisome to many people. There are technically two openings in Orlando, since Smith worked as both the Magic’s president of basketball operations and general manager. Pairing O’Neal, 40, with an experienced executive like Donnie Walsh or Jeff Bower could actually make sense, with the more seasoned executive working as the team president and O’Neal serving an on-the-job apprenticeship of sorts as the general manager.

Names like Brian Shaw, Mike D’Atnoni and Jerry Sloan and even Doc Rivers (Danny Ainge and Celtics fans have to be cracking up about this one since Rivers is still in the first year of his new, five-year deal with the Celtics)  have popped on the list of potential replacements for Van Gundy. Shaq has connections to all of them, which makes this whole drama even richer.

Drama is all it is, until someone confirms this report of a meeting next week between O’Neal and the Magic brass. But you have to admit, the idea of O’Neal returning to the Magic in any capacity, let alone as the future constructor of the franchise, is an intriguing one.


  1. Makyeezy says:

    He gone be Shaqtin’ A Fool if he makes this move. OK you’re now a doctor and everyone accepts you got brains but that doesn’t mean going for GM is the best idea around. Shaq makes big moves on and off the court but this one is jumping the gun a bit too much. To do this he needs to be the big intern before executive.

  2. M.A.B.velous says:

    I guess the Orlando Magic will need someone to put butts in the seats once Howards holds them hostage(again) and forces a trade.(a la Carmelo Anthony) Sorry folks. Hedo Turkaglu and an aging Jason Richardson, amongst other horrible role players on the roster, aren’t much of a box office draw. Shaq is.

  3. burat says:

    chuck norris will be a good fit for a gm job in orlando..

  4. Dra says:

    I would like to see what happens…if he can handle it or not! Are we gonna laugh or not!!

  5. Austin says:

    No, No shaq. He should be at the top, He seems to me as more of an OWNER. Anyone agree?

  6. aaron says:

    i dont know about the experience factor., but if theres anyone who can build around a great Center, it would be shaq

  7. kobe says:


  8. Superman says:

    This is by far the stupidest idea in th history of the nba. Hell this might even be a bigger disaster than isiah general managing the Knicks. Shaquille needs to leave tnt because clearly he doesn’t fit in with chuck kenny and Ernie, he’s always arguin with them plus his voice is so scratchy, you can never make out what he’s saying. He’s a first ballot hall of Famer and top 3 centers of all time, but tv and this nba exec thing ain’t for him. Go make some movies big fella.. Oh wait, maybe not….

  9. bball says:

    This is a really good idea but to really work it must be online 24/7 like a reality show ahah

  10. Clone says:

    We all saw Shaq GM’s talent at the BBVA Rising Star Challenge during the Allstar Weekend..
    With him in charge, you’ll probably get the spotlight more often and sell more stuff.. but the Magics winning a championship dream will be over.

    Charles Barkley would be a better choice for a GM job 😀

  11. Maino says:

    the only plus for shaq being the gm is that they have a good relationship so they would b able to communicate well and shaq knows how to keep dwight happy cuz he knows y he left and he would want dwight 2 do the same

  12. markangelo says:

    there’s the big-man on the court and a big-man in the office that’s nice! LOL

  13. PC says:

    Yeah? The TNT drama reference is one perspective. Funny actually.

    All in all, Shaq doesn’t know much to be at GM. It is not a good idea. He probably thinks it’s fun or something to do. Just my opinion for the matter.

  14. Erez says:

    Is this a joke?? this guy can’t add 2+2 or speak two sentences in english, and you want him to head a billion dollar business? Please, let’s see Orlando do that, and see how fast they drop to the bottom 4 of the east. This is the stupidest idea I ever heard

  15. James Kiger says:

    Ok, first I have to say that I am a Shaq fan. I loved watching him & still like seeing him discuss the game with the other guyss, but after reading the inside scoop on this from a “leak” yeah right, I am not sure at all if the Magic are just using this to get them some TV time. How serious are the Magic front office to make this happen?

  16. CHRISTIAN 149 says:

    shaq + howard = nba championship

  17. Errol L. Clarke says:

    While this is a good idea for Dr. O’neal and his career, it is not a good move for Mr. Howard. He (Howard) has reach to a point where he is itching for a championship. In order for that to happen, he either needs his current team to step up and play the way they did in 2009 when they reached the NBA finals or trade them off to get a legitimate 2nd option player. By the looks of it, his current team will not be stepping up anytime soon which puts alot of pressure on the GM. With all due respest to Dr O’neal, because he has never been a GM, he will be doing alot of experiementing and will just begin to start building a relationship with other GMs. Mr Howard does not have the patience for his front office to be in the rebuilding stages while he is he trying to acquire a championship soon.
    Some words of advice to Dr. O’neal: You’ve been a great basketball player, the Magic Organization loves you and the fans, and the NBA fans as whole loves you for what you have accomplished. Do not fall victom like previous players who have become a little forgotten for what they have accopmlish and more known for the present mishaps in management like the great down there in Charlotte, the other one who was in Phoenix a few years ago, and the one who finally got the monkey off his back in Indiana. Stay a legend and contiune to leave a sweet taste in everyone’s mouth. Much love
    Errol L. Clarke

  18. j0a1p3s says:

    It’s time for the Big Obstruction to leave Inside the NBA on TNT. He’s been a chemistry killer since day 1 in my opinion. The only segment I’ve liked was Shaqtin’ a Fool; everything else consisted of him bragging about his game, berating Kenny and especially Chuck, or talking about his degrees. Time to take your talents to Disney World, big fella.

    • MaFox says:

      yeah, he’s improved from his first appearance on the show. But it looks like he loves attention and then his loud

  19. j0a1p3s says:

    This means the Big Obstruction will finally leave Inside the NBA! I’ve always felt he’s been a chemistry killer since day 1. The only segment I liked was Shaqtin’ a Fool; everything else consisted of him bragging about his game, ridiculing Kenny and especially Chuck, or talking about his degrees. It’s time to take your talents to Disney World, big fella.

  20. Killa! says:

    Ahahaha Shaq n Howard will be more drama then TNT drama. Lol

  21. Bots says:

    Hahaha! FTW!

  22. eknujsra says:

    There will be no shaqin a fool then…

  23. UMAD says:

    bad idea, Shaq would immediately trade Howard for that big baby Bynum. For crying out loud, Glen Big Baby Davis is more mature even with baby in his nick name.

    • Just-A-Fan says:

      LOL! Anywho, I agree that it would be a bad idea for Shaq to take the reins of the Orlando GM job.