The Dwight Howard saga keeps getting stranger. In an ESPN article published Tuesday morning, Ric Bucher reported that the Orlando Magic will allow Howard to pick his coach and general manager if he signs a long-term deal with the franchise. Three hours later, the Magic themselves have put out a statement refuting the report. Via Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post:
Magic statement refuting ESPN report: "The only person(s) who have the final say on coaches and management is the Orlando Magic ownership."— Evan Dunlap (@BQRMagic) March 13, 2012
The statement came from team president Alex Martins. It did not elaborate any further. Here is the wording from the ESPN report:
One source close to the situation told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that the Magic have promised Howard that they will add a quality player before Thursday's deadline and that Howard can decide the fate of both GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy at the end of the season if he signs an extension.
Most reports suggest that it is Martins, and not Smith, that is leading the charge to convince Howard to stay in Orlando.