Alex Martins Rumors

Orlando Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins has been named to Orlando Magazine’s Most Powerful People list for the eighth consecutive year, ranking twelfth on this year’s list. Martins has remained a fixture in the rankings of the most dynamic leaders in Central Florida for much of the past decade. He was a “Hall of Power” member after ranking in Orlando Magazine’s Top 5 for five years in a row of their “Most Powerful People” rankings and sat atop that list in 2012.
“As we began our search, our internal discussions centered on finding a head coach with a solid resume of NBA head coaching experience, great leadership qualities, a motivating communication style, and someone with a strong strategic acumen,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “We feel Scott (Skiles) brings a balanced approach in all those qualities and we look forward, with great confidence, to him leading our young men in helping us reach our collective goal of sustainable success.”
Scott Skiles has been linked to the Magic since former head coach Jacque Vaughn was fired. Skiles remains close with a number of the Magic’s ownership and senior leadership personalities including Magic CEO Alex Martins. It’s believed that Skiles has already had informal conversations about the Magic job, with some close to the situation saying Skiles not only would take the job if offered, he’s tried to campaign a little.
If Orlando Magic executives’ wish is granted, they’ll play at least one game overseas either next preseason or next regular season. Magic CEO Alex Martins said NBA executives know the Magic would like to go overseas either in Oct. 2014 or during the 2014-15 regular season. “We’ve expressed our desire to go, and we’ll just have to wait and see the teams they want to send and where,” Martins told the Orlando Sentinel.
JD: These days there are several teams in the NBA going through the rebuilding process, but they seem devoid of pieces to build around and there isn’t much hope. In Orlando, the fact that you have a core four of players, a rising star in GM Rob Hennigan and a solid coach in place in Jacque Vaughn. How good does it feel to have your foundation for the future already in place? Alex Martins: “I couldn’t be more proud the way our basketball operations staff has performed, particularly with Rob’s leadership. Putting the right pieces in place and getting the right kind of players in is so important. Getting players who have an incredibly high work ethic, a team focus and are humble and hungry – those are all traits of any of our core players. The fact that we’re building that way bodes very well for the future. We definitely have a strong core in place and I’m eagerly awaiting to see how they all come into place this year and how much progress they have made.
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.’’
JD: When you hired Rob Hennigan as GM you talked about how smart, detailed and systematic he was. How impressed have you been with the acquisitions that he has made and with the culture that he has established around the players? Alex Martins: “First of all, I couldn’t be more pleased with Rob. What we’ve been able to accomplish in a year’s time has surpassed my expectations. Am I surprised that Rob has been able to do what he’s done? No. During the course of getting to know Rob and interviewing him, he was clearly the most prepared of anyone of the candidates that we spoke to. And we spoke to some of the most experienced GM candidates in the league. Clearly, he was the most prepared and he had the best vision. And he had the right process to build a sustainable, winning franchise for a long period of time.
JD: GM Rob Hennigan has a buzzword that he uses often — “systematic.’’ In what ways has that systematic approach spread throughout every decision that is made by this organization? Alex Martins: “It takes a lot of patience and resolve, but that approach is already paying big dividends for us. Because of our strategic approach – whether it’s being one of the first teams in sports to embrace analytics and having a department of five people solely focused on looking at numbers, that helps us make the right decisions. Or maybe it’s the way we approach our corporate sponsors and how we want to deliver them a return on their investment. That systematic approach, that strategic approach to our business is already paying dividends on the business side.
Alex Martins: “I’ve been incredibly impressed by Jacque. He’s everything that I had hoped that he would be and more. Clearly, when someone hasn’t been a head coach yet there’s always a question of how he makes the transition sitting in the next chair (from assistant to head coach). He’s handled it better than anyone would have expected. He does have the right temperament for this process, but also he’s got the right temperament for a team that is going to be very successful in the future as well. He has that great balance of teaching and holding players accountable. Those are hard traits to find in a head coach.
The Orlando Magic will open their NBA preseason schedule Wednesday night at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena with a lot more than getting experience and winning an exhibition game in mind. The team said it has long-range hopes of possibly making the First Coast the home of their minor league program. The Magic, who will play the New Orleans Pelicans at 7, have an interest in moving its NBA Development League team to Jacksonville, team CEO Alex Martins said Tuesday. “We’ve made it clear to the [NBA] league we’d like to make this happen,” Martins said.
“I’m seeing this season with great anticipation,” Magic CEO Alex Martins told HOOPSWORLD. “First of all, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year since our new basketball operations team has been in place because they have accomplished so much in 12 months’ time, but I’m anticipating this season from the standpoint from the work that our players have put in this summer. I’ve watched them, on their own, working hard all summer long to improve their game. As you know, to make major leaps in improving your own game personally, you have to do it in the offseason. In the regular season it just doesn’t happen because of the lack of time, practices, and travel and games, so if you’re going to make major leaps in your game, if you’re going to personally improve, you have to do it in the offseason. Our guys have really put in the time and the effort, in my opinion, this off season to do that. You notice the difference in a lot of them physically and I do believe that once they get out on the floor you’ll notice the improvement in the skills in their game as well, so I really look with great anticipation for this upcoming season.”
The Orlando Magic are one of the youngest franchises in the NBA, which is a little hard to believe. They’ve made the NBA Finals twice, and featured some of the best and most iconic players of the past three decades: Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, and Dwight Howard. And yet, the team is only coming up on its 25th anniversary next season. With that in mind, the Magic have unveiled a new logo to commemorate a quarter century of basketball. “This new look provides us an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and look forward to where we are headed,” team CEO Alex Martins said in a press release. “Our silver season logo signifies the history we are creating each day—every game, every play, every moment really is history in the making.”
Stan Van Gundy: I had some real disagreements with (Magic CEO) Alex Martins. Otis and I were on the same page and I didn’t have any problems with Dwight. I had problems with how our organization approached the situation, how they decided to cater to (Howard) in ways that I thought were counter-productive for our team. I thought we should have dealt with some of the rumors (about his coaching future). I made it known that it wasn’t a matter of my fate. They could have ended all the speculation and fired me right then — I said that to them. That stops the speculation and gets you back to basketball. They wouldn’t do anything about it.
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.
Orlando Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins told fans the franchise did everything possible to hold on to disgruntled All-Star center Dwight Howard. “We had extensive conversations in regard to his future in Orlando, exhausting all possible options,” Martins wrote about Howard in a letter emailed to Magic season ticket holders Monday afternoon. “At the end of the day, we were not able to receive a commitment from him beyond this season.”
“We certainly wish Dwight well and congratulate him on all his achievements in Orlando,” Martins wrote in the letter. “The Magic posted the fourth best record in the NBA over the last five years, trailing just the L.A. Lakers, Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs. Dwight was a six-time All-Star and named All-NBA First Team each of the last five years, while also finishing as the Most Valuable Player runner-up in 2011. His popularity in Orlando was certainly unprecedented and we thank him for being a part of Magic history.”
I spoke with Magic CEO Alex Martins two days ago about the Dwight Howard situation, & he had the following to say. I share this now, of course, since Yahoo! is reporting four-way Howard talks with Orlando, the Lakers, Philly and Denver. Martins. I had asked Martins about the recent assertion in the media that the Magic were changing their wish list in a possible deal and unclear what they wanted.
Magic general manager Rob Hennigan conducted first-round interviews with six candidates and whittled the field down to three: Philadelphia 76ers associate head coach Michael Curry, Phoenix Suns player development coach Lindsey Hunter and Vaughn. Martins was going to conduct the second-round interviews and then narrow the list to one or two finalists for meetings with the DeVos family.
The Orlando Magic’s search for a new head coach is entering its final phase. San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Jacque Vaughn, widely presumed to be front-runner for the job, met with Magic CEO Alex Martins on Friday in Las Vegas for a second-round interview. “We’re not going to comment on the process and where it stands,” Martins told the Orlando Sentinel on Saturday.