HoopsHype Otis Smith rumors

May 1, 2012 Updates

Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith will travel to the Los Angeles area Tuesday and visit with Dwight Howard, who is recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back, both Smith and Magic CEO Alex Martins said. "The intent is to check in, see how he's doing, both from his rehab as well as his spirits, to see him in-person," Martins said before the Magic faced the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of the teams' playoff series Monday. "We've been communicating with him via phone and text, but it's just an opportunity for us to see how he's doing." Orlando Sentinel

Smith will spend about 24 hours in L.A., and he plans to return to Orlando in time for Game 3 Wednesday night at Amway Center. "They're all my kids," Smith said of his players. "I've got one of them that's not with the team, that you want to have with the team that's injured, that's down. So you've got to go see him. You've got to pep him up a little bit and tell him he's doing the right thing by his body. "He can't travel and he can't do much," Smith added. "His doctor's orders and pretty much our orders are to get his back right. He can't do anything for anybody at this point in time, so he has to get right." Orlando Sentinel

April 21, 2012 Updates
April 16, 2012 Updates

Dwight Howard will rest his injured back for the next 10 days and then will be reevaluated, Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith said Sunday. Smith acknowledged that there is no guarantee that Howard, who has a herniated disk in his lower back and has suffered from persistent back spasms, will be available when the playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 28. “It's not up to me,” Smith said before the Magic faced the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. “His body's going to have to pretty much tell us if he can go or not.” Orlando Sentinel

April 10, 2012 Updates

Regardless of what the Magic general manager says, it stands to reason he wouldn’t be the person to approach with such a demand, so why ask him about it? Management does not make command decisions of such enormity, ownership does. Clearly, Howard went straight to the top, Rich and/or Dan DeVos. New York Post

Orlando Magic senior vice president Pat Williams, who helped found the franchise in 1989, said Monday he would like to see star center Dwight Howard and coach Stan Van Gundy both remain with the franchise for a long time. Williams said restoring the team's health and winning would do a lot to help the franchise move past recent turmoil, capped when Van Gundy last week said that Howard wanted him fired. The coach and the star later met with Magic general manager Otis Smith, agreeing to co- exist the rest of the season and put the team first. "Finish well and then have a wonderful run in the playoffs -- that would probably cure most of the issues," Williams told The Associated Press before a scheduled speaking appearance at Michigan State University. ESPN.com

Williams said Van Gundy would admit that he can sometimes be too negative. And he said that while Howard has "grown up a lot" there is still room for maturation on his end. "I think this shook them both up -- that's my opinion," Williams said of the incident last week. "I think they're going to be better for it." ESPN.com

April 8, 2012 Updates

Dwight Howard did not ask Magic general manager Otis Smith to fire coach Stan Van Gundy, Smith told ESPN's Lisa Salters on Saturday before the Magic's 88-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. "He never asked me; I didn't have that knowledge," Smith said. ESPN.com

April 6, 2012 Updates
April 4, 2012 Updates

Both Van Gundy and Smith are under contract through 2012-13. Martins insists that he did not make any specific promises to Howard to convince Howard to waive his early-termination option. "Nothing specific has been pledged," Martins said. "The conversations all centered around wanting the same thing, and that's to win a championship, and the only pledge made is that we will do what it takes to win a championship. "Rumors happen in our league every single day, and coaches and players work through those rumors. I think, as I've said several times, that our coaches and our players have done an incredibly commendable job working through every rumor that we've had this season, every speculation that we've had this season, every concern about whether a specific player would be traded or not traded. For us to have the fifth-best record in the NBA [at the trade deadline] with all that swirling around, to me, is a great testament to our coaches and our players." Orlando Sentinel

April 2, 2012 Updates
April 1, 2012 Updates

Although Dwight Howard may be having another stellar season -- headed for his fifth consecutive All-NBA first team honor -- Magic general manager Otis Smith made it clear that he still wants more from him. Smith wants more leadership from his star player, calling him out publically during a local radio show interview Thursday. "Whether he wants the role [as leader], or they want to give him the role, he has the role," Smith said. "There are no ifs, ands or buts about it, and unfortunately, it falls on your best player, and you're going to get from him whatever you're going to get." CBSSports.com

Smith has talked to Howard several times about assuming more of a leadership role, but Howard hasn't always responded. Although Howard usually leads by example -- he has been the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year the last three seasons -- Smith wants him more vocal and holding teammates more accountable. Howard, though, is not confrontational by nature, and he wants teammates to like him, which is not always in the team's best interest. "So whether he wants the role, or not, he has to assume the role. Now, everybody who has the role, it doesn't necessarily mean they know how to deal with the role. But it's his," Smith said. "And he has to learn how to do that." CBSSports.com

March 27, 2012 Updates

Sentinel: Last time you and I spoke for a Q-and-A like this, back in January in Sacramento, I asked you about Stan Van Gundy and his demeanor on the sideline. He still has not recorded a technical foul this season. Is that gratifying to you considering that he often credits you for prompting him to be less demonstrative? Otis Smith: I don't know if I'd measure the change by his technical fouls, because sometimes technical fouls are warranted; a coach needs to get a technical foul sometimes. However, with him and his demeanor on the sidelines and his communication with his players and those types of things, I think those are where I see the most improvement in him. I always say, "We kind of are what we are." And so all we can do is fine-tune some things, and that's all we really talk about: just fine-tuning. Orlando Sentinel

Sentinel: For months and months, one of the first things I and reporters like me would ask you about would be Dwight Howard's future. For now, at least, it seems like the focus is on basketball. Is that a relief? Is it refreshing? Otis Smith: It's about the same. Nothing really changes. You've got to remember I have to forecast beyond what you guys see. It's OK that you guys are shortsighted; so you only see one thing at a time. That's fine. But I have to forecast beyond that. The term "general manager" means something. It means you generally manage all of it. And that's what you kinda have to do. So I think things are going good. I think we're still having to forecast and try to put our team together not only for just this current [season] but moving forward. Orlando Sentinel

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