Six surefire ways to fix the Orlando Magic

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

-Peter Finch as Howard Beale in Network

 

That’s it.  I’m fed up!

I have been a die-hard Orlando Magic fan for years, supporting the team through thick and thin… but these days, even I have seen enough.

The Magic have now dropped five of their last six games, in two of which they flirted with the franchise history low in scoring.  Over their last five losses, they’re averaging 72 points and are getting beaten by a highly uncompetitive 18 a game.  Keep in mind this was a franchise that made the NBA Finals only three seasons ago.  At this rate, they’ll be lucky to contend at all.

Now usually here at SportsChump, we generally just point out a few revelations that others might not have thought of yet.  Not this time.

This time, we’re going hardcore.  Take no prisoners.

Here are a few bold, house-cleaning instructions on how to make the Orlando Magic relevant again, because they sure as heck-fire aren’t right now.

1 – TRADE DWIGHT

That’s right.  I said it.  It needed to be said.  Since the end of last season, I’ve heard Dwight complain about how he wants to be traded here or would like to be traded there, which begs the question, if he wants to play with Deron Williams so badly, why doesn’t Orlando just trade for Deron Williams?  Here’s an idea.  Get rid of your players who suck, aka all of them, and build a team around Dwight, Deron and Stephen Jackson, who Dwight also allegedly wants to play with.

Or fuck it, trade Dwight to Chicago but play hard ball.  In return, demand Joakim Noah, who could clearly sell tickets here in Florida, and either Carlos Boozer (who I’m not crazy about but at least that’s a solid 4-5 combination) or Luol Deng (who I’m also not crazy about either because he’s injury prone, but at least he can score, which no Magic player other than Dwight can do consistently).  Either way, at least that will get the Dwighning far enough away from my general vicinity.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of players out there that don’t shoot 9-for-their-last -28 (32%) from the free throw line.  If Dwight’s really that unhappy, get what you can for him and tell him not to let the door hit him in the ass on the way out.

2 – FIRE STAN VAN GUNDY

Look, I like Stan. My personal policy is never to hate a coach who once brought a team of mine to the promised land.  They get a lifetime pass.  That’s why I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Lon Kruger.

But Stan Van Gundy has clearly lost control of this situation and has reached deer-in-the-headlights status.  Every post-game comment from his starting center mentions a player he’d rather play with or a place he’d rather be.  If I’m Stan, I go all Gene Hackman-Hoosiers on Dwight, benching him, starting only four players and telling the ref “My team is on the floor.”

Here’s more food for thought if you’re opposed to firing Stan Van.  Glen “Big Baby” Davis was a far better player under Doc Rivers than he is now under Stan Van Gundy.  Furthermore, Brandon Bass, who now plays under Doc Rivers is a better player now than he was in Orlando.

I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

3 – FIRE OTIS SMITH

Need I really say more?  Why is Orlando so loyal to players who only played three years in a Magic uniform?  Smith wasn’t even that good as a player, he’s far worse as a general manager.

I thought it was bad when John Gabriel was making personnel decisions.  You remember John Gabriel, don’t you?  The guy that drafted Geert Hammink, Brooks Thompson, Rodney Dent, David Vaughn, Brian Evans, Amal McCaskill, Johnny Taylor and Eric Washington all within a four-year period.  Between 1993 and 2000, Orlando Magic draft picks read like a who’s who of suck.

But since Smith took over in 2006, Brooks Thompson would be a refreshing change.  Smith didn’t re-sign Hedo Turkoglu the year after he helped get them to the Finals, but rather signed him two years later (and more importantly two years older) to a bloated contract.  Smith is also single-handedly responsible for bringing in Gilbert Arenas (no longer on their roster) after he was essentially ostracized from the league (by everyone but Smith, obviously) for bringing a handgun into the locker room, then joking about it publicly.  The Lakers won’t even sign Arenas to the league minimum but the Magic signed him for an ungodly amount, then summarily waived him.

4 – GUT THE ROSTER

This team is currently comprised of more retreads than a road-side tire shop.  The Magic play Hedo Turkoglu (4 teams), Chris Duhon (3 teams), Larry Hughes (8 teams), Quentin Richardson (5 teams) and Jason Richardson (4 teams) who just can’t seem to get along.  Since we’re cleaning house, might I suggest selling these guys for pennies on the dollar and hoping they can even get THAT much in return.

5 – RESOLVE YOUR JAMEER SITUATION

Magic fans celebrated the day Orlando “stole” Jameer Nelson, the St. Joe’s standout point guard, in the second round of the 2004 draft.  Eight years later, we’re still trying to determine whether he’s the point guard that can bring this team a championship.  Newsflash!  If you don’t know the answer by now, then he’s not.

6 – MAKE ORLANDO MARKETABLE

I never understood why more NBA players don’t want to play in Orlando.  It’s a fun town, the weather is fabulous, there’s no state income tax and their arena still has that new car smell.

I’ve also wondered why no Magic player has ever signed a huge, marketing deal with Walt Disney World, which is only about twenty miles away from Amway.  Wouldn’t that be the end-all, be-all of endorsement deals?  That’d make Nike and Reebok deals look like drops in the bucket.

I know Orlando’s not Los Angeles, Miami or New York but it has to be a hell of a lot more fun than Detroit or Oklahoma City.

I guess the bottom line here is… the Magic need to be proactive.  The team is wallowing in misery, playing the worst basketball it’s played in years.  It’s time to shit or get off the pot.  Do what you need to do to get quality players who actually want to play for your team, in your city.  If you don’t know who that is, then fire your scouts and find someone who does.

34 thoughts on “Six surefire ways to fix the Orlando Magic

  1. Pingback: Six surefire ways to fix the Orlando Magic - BallHyped, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. I vote for 1-6. You are clearly heated this morning! Nice! It is unacceptable for Dwight to be on this team and continue to talk about who he wants to play with and where he wants to play. Ridiculous! The Orlando Magic need a complete overhaul. Start with Smith who would bungle a Howard trade and go on from there but I am with you on all points. Time to gut it!

    You shouldn’t be so angry since you have that brand new flat screen to comfort you at night.

  3. Here come my Magic fans from out of the woodwork.

    The Don Calvino takes a break from bitching about how bad Florida’s recruiting class is this year to sound off.

    Thank you, sir.

    It’s good to know you’re as fed up as I am with these here Orlando Magic. With every sorry loss, it’s becoming more obvious they’re going to have to clean house.

    Get your resume ready for that GM position, brother. That way at least we’ll have a ticket hook-up again.

    And somebody give Carla a damn raise.

  4. Chris

    Clean house within the Magic organization ? What no one from Merry Maids is willing to do the job because of the apparent stench in terms because of the team’s play recently ? The Magic couldn’t buy a win much less a consonant or vowel if they were making an appearance on Wheel of Fortune ! The show’s host Pat Sajak would love for the team to make an appearance there .

    COO Alec Martins since taking over from team owner Rich De Vos’ son-in-law Bob Vanderweide is like a blind man having trouble finding his own member in the dark ! He’s fumbling around but just can’t find it at all ! Otis Smith needs to go , so too does SVG who at one time you were apparently sold on ? Average to moderate regular season coach but come the postseason he’s like deer caught in headlights . Gut the roster completely and start afresh , even if it means that Dwight goes . He’s not remaining while this mess continues and come the trade deadline I expect him to be on the trading block !

    Too Big To Fail Or Simply Too Stupid ?

    Package It , Sell It , And Someone Is Bound To Buy It ………

    Oh Really …. ?

    I hear our beloved governor is working on a plan to abate the foreclosure rate within the state ? What’s up with that ? It’s costing me business at present as that’s what I’ve now been assigned to deal with along with several colleagues in terms of assisting current owners upside down on their mortgages . Two more weeks of this and I’m liable to go postal !

    tophatal ………………….

  5. Al…

    I think Donny C makes a good point. Which of these moves is the first to make?

    If we allow Smith to do this, we’ll just end up in the same boat we’re already in, with a bunch of over-priced players that don’t fit, aren’t worth a damn, and don’t want to be there in the first place.

  6. Al…

    According to hoopshype.com, here are the 2012 Orlando Magic salaries. Read it and weep:

    Gilbert – 19 mil (amnestied)
    Dwight – 18 mil
    Hedo – 10.6 mil
    Jameer – 7.3 mil
    JJ – 6.5 mil
    Big Baby – 6.3 mil
    J Rich – 5.4 mil
    Duhon – 3.5 mil
    Q – 2.5 mil
    Ryan Anderson – 2.2 mil

    Source: http://hoopshype.com/salaries/orlando.htm

    Now you tell me, who’s worth it?

  7. Easy big fella, put down the Red Bull and slowly back away from the laptop. I know you’re down, but for God’s sake man you’re entering your hear attack years. Take my advise and grab a few adult beverages, head for your favorite beach and relax. Things will get better (cause they can’t get much worse)

    Signed,

    A Bucs fan.

  8. You know how hardcore of a magic fan I am. But damn Chris I gotta agree with you on this one! It’s been a mess for quite a while and doesn’t seem to be even close to getting any better. Fuck it time to clean house bro!!

  9. Ladies and gentlemen…

    I’d like to welcome long-time reader, first-time caller, Mr. Don’t Frown the Brown himself… SUVASH!

    Suvash, no doubt, bra. This team has regressed ever since the Finals year and the worst part is, I see no end in sight, which is why, when I texted you the other night after another crap loss, I put down the chicken wings, picked up the pen and knocked out this piece.

    Now if only someone within the organization would listen.

  10. Looks like we found the chump’s breaking point.

    I never understood the infatuation with Jameer. I remember someone offering him to me in a trade a few years back telling me he was a top tier point guard. I’m still laughing at that e-mail to this day!

  11. Trading Dwight would be the best solution. Look, every time a star wants out of a team, it always ruins the chemistry of that squad. Not to mention Howard’s rants about how his teammates don’t play hard enough. If you ever wanted to know how to be a bad teammate, look at Dwight Howard. There are better ways of speaking to your teammates and calling them out isn’t one of them. On the bright side, at least I have Ryan Anderson in my fantasy team, who just grabbed 20 boards the last game, take THAT Dwight! Nice post Chris!

  12. Pingback: Sports Chump » Six surefire ways to fix the Orlando Magic - NBA Magic News Updated Every 10 Minutes - Orlando Magic Breaking News Blog

  13. Chris

    Given the incentives for some of the guys on the Magic roster the returns this season have been minimal at best .

    Magic free agents and payroll in terms of ongoing commitments .

    Magic COO Alec Martins and GM Otis Smith have to pull the trigger , otherwise they will suffer the consequence of seeing the player depart as a free agent . They should gauge the interest of the Mavs who can offer a great deal in return for Dwight .

    tophatal …………….

  14. I can’t disagree with any of the suggestions above. It is a franchise that should have seen this coming a long time ago but obviously was hoping for some kind of magical, when-you-wish-upon-a-star, Disney-esque ending. Not happening.

  15. I feel you man. My Lakers could easily be in the same boat if all goes wrong on this upcoming 6 game road trip.

    Only unlike you, instead of being mad at Lakers management, my frustration is aimed squarely at David Stern.

    At least Kupchak TRIED to make the right move to fix what was broken. Orlando seems to think Dwight will somehow miraculously change his tune and that the ship will right itself.
    Good luck with that Otis.

  16. Chap…

    I don’t mind Jameer all THAT much. But it has been eight years.

    During that Finals run, I wouldn’t necessarily have called him a liability. Heck, the Lakers won it that year with Derek Fisher. And an aging J Kidd won it last year.

    We are, however, witnessing a newer sicker brand of point guards, none of which I think the Magic can get their hands on. I’m sure Nelson probably has some trade value, the question is how much and who do you get to replace him.

    I said it before, I’ll say it again. It’s been eight years.

  17. BS…

    Thank you, sir.

    When the Magic lost Shaq, they got nothing in return. That can’t happen again.

    I couldn’t agree with you more. The Dwhining has gotten out of hand. Ship him out for another quality center and scorer. And do it soon before his mouth and attitude lessen his trade value.

  18. Snake…

    Otis needs to go all Danny Ainge on Dwight and tell the press publicly that nobody on this roster is untouchable.

    That’ll rattle the big guy like he’s shooting a free throw.

  19. Pest…

    I feel a little better after getting that off my chest.

    I bet the Magic are all patting themselves on the back after beating a 4-18 Wizards team by six.

    This is a team they should be beating by 20.

  20. SA….

    This is Otis Smith’s doing.

    I wonder if he’s having problems getting a seat in some or Orlando’s finer dining establishments.

    After what he’s done to this team, I figure it’s not safe for him to go out in public.

    If he did that in a town that actually cared about basketball, he’d be crucified.

  21. Bleed…

    They did get shafted in that whole Chris Paul deal which is surprising because generally, whatever L.A. wants, L.A. gets.

    Just the wrong L.A. this time.

    If I were Otis, I’d be smooching Dwight’s butt and consulting him on moves that Orlando could make to keep him happy.

    Actually that should have been done years ago. Might be too late at this point.

  22. Not sure how you can make them marketable… other than the good weather and place to start a family. A lot of these guys have kids all over the country, and would rather go joyriding in big cities instead.

  23. They’re gonna go joy-riding regardless, KP.

    What I don’t get is why WOULDN’T you want to play in Orlando? Sure, it’s an expansion team but does that even matter?

    I would think Orlando’s a helluva lot better than a lot of the other NBA cities out there.

  24. 1)Fire otis 2) trade jameer,j-rich,Davis, and jj for expiring contracts and a pick 3) get rid of duhon! 4) get dwight on board or none of this matters. 5) go after d-will this summer have dwight pull a wade (getting James and bosh to join him) 6) fire otis smith!!!!!

  25. Anthony…

    I think you’re fourth point is key. They’ve got to get Dwight on board. Get him to WANT to stay in Orlando. Otherwise any moves they make will be pointless. He’ll continue to bitch and moan and want out.

    That’s why I thought he should have been consulted on most of their previous moves.

  26. DHS…

    I still like my Howard for Griffin-Jordan trade.

    Howard gets to go to L.A. and play with Chris Paul and Orlando gets Blake Griffin to jump out of its brand new arena, which by the way, is absolutely plush.

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