HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — Well, that didn’t take long.
As soon as he was included in the discussion for the vacant general manager job in Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal has taken himself out of the mix.
The future Hall of Famer and TNT analyst released a statement this afternoon denying any interest in pursuing the position that came open with Monday’s mutual parting of the ways between the Magic and Otis Smith.
And this isn’t coming from any back channel sources or anyone else. It’s from the big fella himself, who said he has no plans of leaving the Inside set where has starred this season alongside Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson.
“When I first heard about the vacancy for the Orlando Magic general manager position, I was clearly intrigued.” he said in a statement. “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, Kenny and E.J. I wish the best for the Magic and I am confident that they will select a great GM and coach.”
ESPN’s The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reported Wednesday that there was mutual interest between O’Neal and the Magic and that he could interview with them as early as next week. Barkley was on The Dan Patrick Show this morning and confirmed that O’Neal indicated to him that he had interest in the job and would be interviewing with the franchise that drafted him.
But all of that comes crashing down with O’Neal’s statement that he has no plans of giving up his seat on the set at TNT.