Rich DeVos Rumors

The DeVos family, which owns the Orlando Magic and Amway, has purchased a minority stake in the Chicago Cubs. “Hailing from the Midwest and having followed the Chicago Cubs for many years, the DeVos Family is proud to confirm that we have invested a non-controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs and the Wrigley Field renovation project,” the family said in a statement issued to the Orlando Sentinel. “We respectfully refer any further questions on this topic to the Cubs organization.”
Other majority team owners who made this top 400 richest included Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov (No. 125, $9.9 billion), Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich (No. 137, $9.1 billion), Miami Heat owner Micky Arison (No. 191, $7.1 billion), Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross (No. 216, $6.5 billion), St. Louis Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke (No. 225, $6.3 billion), Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos (No. 259, $5.7 billion), Detroit Tigers and Red Wings owner Michael Ilitch (No. 330, $4.8 billion), Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham FC owner Shahid Khan (No. 330, $4.8 billion), Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner (No. 330, $4.8 billion), the New York Knicks and Rangers owners, the Dolans (No. 381, $4.3 billion), New England Patriots and Revolution owner Robert Kraft (No. 381, $4.3 billion) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ($4.2 billion).
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The DeVos family, which owns the Orlando Magic, has no plans or desire to sell the franchise, the team’s chairman, Dan DeVos, told the Orlando Sentinel on Sunday. “As a family, the topic of selling the team has not come up,” DeVos wrote in an e-mail message. “In fact, we are enjoying the team more than ever. Especially my father. We are very excited about our focus on winning a NBA championship. The family is fully engaged and active with the team. All four generations.
JD: You just mentioned the DeVos ownership team. How is the health of Mr. DeVos? When is the last time you have talked to him? And what is his excitement level for this season because I know he still enjoys watching as many games in Orlando as possible? Alex Martins: “He was excited about this season the day that last season ended. I get to talk to him frequently and I just saw him up in Grand Rapids (Mich.) about three weeks ago. His health is good. He’s a little frustrated because he’s mostly confined to his wheelchair now. But his health is great as ever and he absolutely loves his team. It’s one of the highlights of his life behind his family. When I saw him last month, he said, `I can’t wait for the games to start. I’ve been looking forward to this all summer.’ He’s looking forward to seeing how all of the guys have progressed and he’s looking forward to getting back into the Amway Center again. So he’s got as much anticipation as anybody about this upcoming season.’’
I don’t know what new General Manager Rob Hennigan or CEO Alex Martins said to Big Baby and teammates, whether they threatened to evoke a curfew or trade anybody who causes a stir to Milwaukee. (The club’s D-League affiliate is Sioux Falls, by the way.) Whatever – and it’s taken some getting used to — but the Magic look like a totally professional organization again. The Magic and owner Rich DeVos were so embarrassed and humiliated by all the Howard-related antics that they cleaned house and maybe tented the arena for fumigation. There will be no airing of dirty — or slightly soiled — laundry. Opinions and tongues will be held in check. Requesting a trade? Fill out a form.
Cheri DeVos VanderWeide, the daughter of Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos, has filed for divorce from Bob VanderWeide — who left his post as the team’s CEO last December. In a document filed in August in Michigan’s 17th Circuit Court, Cheri DeVos VanderWeide — who serves as the Magic’s executive vice chairman — alleges that her husband is at fault for a breakdown in their marriage and that he vacated their primary home in Aug. 2011. In a subsequent legal filing, Bob VanderWeide denied that he is solely at fault for the marriage’s problems and said it is untrue that he left the home in August 2011. They have been married since 1984.
Two of the finalists, Spurs executive Dennis Lindsey and Thunder executive Rob Hennigan, are scheduled to meet with members of the DeVos family in Grand Rapids, Mich., in the next couple of days, one of the sources said. The other finalist, former Hornets GM Jeff Bower, has not been scheduled to meet with owner Rich DeVos and other family members yet, but his visit is expected to follow. Orlando is expected to wrap up its GM search by late this week or possibly early-to-mid next week.
Two of the finalists, Spurs executive Dennis Lindsey and Thunder executive Rob Hennigan, are scheduled to meet with members of the DeVos family in Grand Rapids, Mich., in the next couple of days, one of the sources said. The other finalist, former Hornets GM Jeff Bower, has not been scheduled to meet with owner Rich DeVos and other family members yet, but his visit is expected to follow. Orlando is expected to wrap up its GM search by late this week or possibly early-to-mid next week.
On the day he “retired,” Vander Weide said he would still be a consultant with the organization, come to some games and interact with the team. He has not been seen or heard from since. He has become the DeVos version of Fredo Corleone. He went out on a fishing trip and has never come back. The only thing missing was Rich DeVos himself saying, “I know it was you, Bob. You broke my heart! You broke my heart!”
Jackson is apparently headed back to the NBA in some capacity, but he pulled out here before Martins had a chance to run it by owner Rich DeVos. Martins learned of Jackson’s exit Thursday, but would not comment. “Not because of this specific situation, but because I have been consistent during the search that I won’t comment on specific candidates,” Martins said in an e-mail. “I stand by my statement that we will put a premium on searching for Championship experience in the positions within in our search.”
Howard believes Van Gundy lied when he told reporters he knew Howard asked for his dismissal because, a league source familiar with the situation said, he never specifically did. There is no love lost between Howard and Van Gundy but sources close to the All-Star center said it was Orlando’s front office that first approached him about canning Van Gundy in December, before the Magic’s season deteriorated.
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There goes Dwight Howard, gone for the season, gone for the playoffs, maybe gone from Orlando forever. Back surgery took care of the first two, a procedure to repair a painful herniated disk in his lower back that will likely sideline him for the next four months, while a freshly scorched relationship with the team could take care of the third. Sources close to Howard insist he never made the reported phone call to Magic owner Rich DeVos during last Friday’s loss to Atlanta declaring his intention to never play for Stan Van Gundy again, though it doesn’t change the fact that he has no interest in continuing to do it.
WKMG-TV in Orlando reported that Howard called DeVos last Friday night during the Atlanta Hawks-Magic home game at Amway Center and told DeVos his stance on Van Gundy. However, the person close to Howard said the report is completely made up and that Howard was getting an epidural Friday in Los Angeles during the Hawks game. Another person close to the situation told USA TODAY Sports he was not aware of a phone call from Howard to Devos.
Two sources told ESPN.com, though, that Howard did not reach out to DeVos in such a fashion. Howard’s relationship with Van Gundy has been strained for months. Sources indicate that Howard will be re-evaluated next week by team doctors to determine his playoff availability. Howard’s recovery from the injury, more so than any difficulties with Van Gundy, will factor into whether Howard is able to return to the court this season, sources told ESPN.
Magic center Dwight Howard has called team owner Rich DeVos to tell him that he won’t play for coach Stan Van Gundy anymore, WKMG in Orlando reported. But multiple league sources directly affiliated with the Magic and Howard disputed the television report to ESPN.com’s Michael Wallace. “It’s a completely made-up, B.S. story,” one of Howard’s representatives told ESPN.com. Howard missed his sixth straight game with a back injury Wednesday against the Celtics, and Van Gundy already has said that he is preparing for his big man to miss the rest of the season and the playoffs. Howard is still upset that Van Gundy publicly said this month that Howard asked management to have him fired, sources told WKMG.
The Sentinel reported Wednesday that “Howard’s camp is adamant that the All-NBA center wants to return for the postseason.” Pingalore reported several weeks ago that Howard has gone to management in an attempt to get the coach fired. Van Gundy confirmed that was the case, causing a local and national firestorm. Pingalore, in his most recent report, wrote that Howard is upset that Van Gundy said publicly he wanted him fired.
“Whatever happens at the end of the season is not under my control. I am a player for the Magic,” he said. “I am not the GM. I am not [team owner] Rich DeVos. I am not [CEO] Alex Martins. So that’s not my job. So you guys should stop with every other week it’s trying to find something, because there’s nothing. There’s nothing. I haven’t said anything to anybody about anything. Our main concern is winning. So all the other stuff should stop.” Whatever, Van Gundy, by coming forward Thursday, made it impossible to believe there is “nothing.” He made it clear that if he were to be fired at some point that Howard had something to do with it.