The Orlando Magic made a statement yesterday by firing head coach Stan Van Gundy in a final straw to convince Dwight Howard to sign a long-term extension with the franchise, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Even though Chris Sheridan reported that Howard wants out of Orlando before the season begins, the only thing the Magic can do now is allow Howard to handpick the franchise's next head coach.
There's a couple reasons for that, but reason No. 1 is the fact that the Magic have done everything possible to please Howard, and now by getting rid of Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith to appease Howard, they've already handed him the power to the entire organization.
If they've come this far to make Howard happy, they might as well go all the way with it.
If the Orlando Magic brass feels that the only chance it has about keeping the six-time NBA All-Star in town is by letting him select the coach he wants, then that's the sacrifice it needs to make.
Quite frankly, there's nothing else really left to offer him.
The Magic say, according to USA Today, that Howard won't be in the room when they hire a new coach, but he probably should be.
Certainly Smith will no longer be in that room making decisions, and without a full-time general manager in place at the moment, getting Howard's input on the coaching situation is the last move for the Magic before Howard gets them in checkmate.
Orlando has dealt with all of Howard's nonsense up to this point, so keeping him in a Magic uniform is obviously its top priority at any cost. So allowing him to pick his head coach in a last-ditch effort to get him to sign an extension shouldn't be a big deal at all.
I know your asking: What happens if Howard picks a coach and then leaves or is traded?
Well, that answer is simple.
If the Magic can get rid of the best coach in franchise history in Van Gundy, it shouldn't be a problem getting rid of Howard's handpicked guy just as easily.
Eventually the Magic are going to have to scrap everything and start over, but as long as there's a small chance to keep Howard, they might as well keep playing his games.
They've done so for this long. There's no point in quitting now.