NBA PM: Magic’s Martins Begins Chaotic Offseason
In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed the Orlando Magic this season, former center Adonal Foyle has interviewed for the team’s occupied general manager position, multiple sources told Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com, who added that the interview took place before the trade deadline.
Foyle is presently working under current general manager Otis Smith as the team’s director of player development. But, as previously mentioned by Steve Kyler in the April 10th NBA AM, Foyle was rumored to be in charge of the Magic’s trade deadline negotiations, which, as you may remember, revolved around Dwight Howard and his player option for next season. Howard ultimately picked up that option and was not traded by Orlando, but that obviously didn’t settle the situation.
In the weeks that followed, coach Stan Van Gundy told the media that he knew Howard had been trying to get him fired, and while Smith denied hearing anything about that in an interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters, there’s a good chance that Howard’s relationship with Smith is strained as well.
Magic CEO Alex Martins was asked about the future of Smith, Howard and Van Gundy after the Magic were eliminated from the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers, but he didn’t have much to offer.
“We’re going to take a couple of days to decompress,” Martins told the media, as quoted by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “My intent is not to elongate a process that leaves people hanging in limbo.”
The one thing Martins did acknowledge was that this was a very chaotic season for the Magic and he’ll have to make some tough choices in the near future to avoid a repeat of that in 2012-2013.
“I don’t think anybody wants to go through the season that we’ve just been through,” Martins said. “I think anybody that you’ve talked to today will tell you in their careers they have been through a season like we’ve been through this season. Certainly, in my 25 years, I haven’t been. So we’re going to do everything that we need to do to make sure that we put ourselves in a position not to go through the season that we just did.”
Most people assume it’s Van Gundy and/or Smith that will get the ax, but Howard could still get traded. He’s only signed through next season and Martins told Orlando area sports anchor David Baumann on Tuesday night that Howard needs to agree to a long-term extension or “necessary decisions will be made.”
The Brooklyn Nets have been perceived to be Howard’s preferred destination, but it’s anyone’s guess if that will ever happen.
For now it appears that at least one of the three will be leaving Orlando, it’s just a matter of who and when.
UPDATE: Adonal Foyle has responded to these rumors on Twitter.
“Let me be abundantly clear I have never been interviewed for a GM job with the Orlando Magic,” Foyle tweeted. “Further Otis is my friend and mentor and I would never disrespect him in this manner.As Dir. of Player Dev – I have lots of work to do yet.”
What does it take to play with a left-hand laceration?
In case you missed everything surrounding the New York Knicks’ Game 4 win over the Miami Heat on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, let’s bring you up to speed.
Amar’e Stoudemire punctuated the Knicks Game 2 loss in Miami by hitting a glass fire extinguisher door on his way into the locker room, consequently lacerating his left hand on the glass and requiring 15 stitches and minor surgery. He missed the Game 3 loss, but was given a green light to play moments before Game 4 and helped the Knicks stave off elimination by registering a double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds) in the 89-87 win.
“I was being very active, just trying to be in the right place at the right time,” he told the media at Wednesday’s practice, as quoted by Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com. “Even if I can’t grab a rebound, I’ll tap it out to my teammates. It was a team effort. Guys were boxing out and I just happened to walk in and grab a few rebounds, which helped. Having great players around me makes the game easier.”
But just because Stoudemire was able to overcome his self-inflicted injury once doesn’t mean there’s no danger in him trying again three days later.
The Knicks are still trying to keep their season alive and tonight’s Game 5 in Miami won’t be any easier. Stoudemire doesn’t have full use of his left hand yet, and as he explained to the media, there’s a process in just preparing the appendage for the game.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll have it extremely wrapped tonight before the game,” he said. “It’s still pretty stitched up, but it’s very secure. My strength is coming back slowly but surely.”
“It’s layered with like a Vaseline gauze and then a small strip of padding that goes over it,” explained Stoudemire, who showed everyone the 15 stitches on his left hand. “Then, we put some type of gel padding on the side of it, so if I do have contact on the area, it won’t compress on the actual injury.”
And even with all of that, Stoudemire said he still won’t be able to do much with the hand.
“I still won’t be able to dunk with two hands or grab an aggressive rebound,” he said. “I can’t defend or block shots with the left hand. I don’t want to get this hand in the passing lane, so I’m still very limited with the left hand, but I’ll be OK.”
So as much as we all like to joke at Stoudemire’s expense for knocking himself out of Game 3, it’s important to remember that he’s also the same guy that risked further injury to play in Games 4 and 5. And he didn’t just show up. He actually improved from the first two games when he accumulated a combined total of just 12 rebounds.
After almost ruining his postseason, Stoudemire is playing like someone who doesn’t want it to end.
Check Out: Clippers at Grizzlies
There are two playoff games tonight and both involve series that currently stand at 3-1. But we all know there’s a difference between the Heat’s 3-1 advantage over the Knicks and the Clippers’ 3-1 lead over the Grizzlies: Miami’s three wins were by a total of 57 points while Los Angeles outscored Memphis by a total of four points in its three wins.
So yes, the Memphis Grizzlies could see their season end tonight at 9:30 on TNT. Or we could see the next chapter in what has already been a remarkable series.
Perhaps the best battle has been at point guard where the Clippers’ Chris Paul (27.96) and Mike Conley of the Grizzlies (22.26) have posted two of the highest Player Efficiency Ratings at the position in the postseason. What makes it particularly entertaining is that both are playing solid defense. Conley also chipped in with seven boards during Monday’s loss in LA.
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