Dwight Howard: Ranking Head Coaches Who Have Best Shot at Keeping D12 in Orlando
Dwight Howard is not an easy man to coach, but the Orlando Magic desperately need to find someone who he can coexist with if they want to keep the big man in the same uniform for the 2012-2013 NBA season.
However, D12 is still the best center in the league when he's healthy and motivated. In a league starved for quality big men, that's too much to pass up without a fight.
If the Magic truly want to keep Howard in Florida (not South Beach, though), these are the three men whose hands they should attempt to put the clipboard in.
No. 3 Option: Patrick Ewing
Although not too many people realize it, Patrick Ewing has actually been heavily involved on NBA sidelines ever since he hung up the sneakers and called it quits on his legendary playing career.
The former New York Knicks center has worked with the Washington Wizards and spent the last eight years serving under the Van Gundy brothers. He spent 2003-2007 tutoring Yao Ming while under the supervision of Jeff Van Gundy and then helped Howard develop while serving as Stan Van Gundy's assistant coach for the last four years.
Ewing and Howard already have a relationship, so it would be interesting to see how that relationship would grow if Ewing was given a larger role within the organization.
He himself has said that he's not just a big man's coach: "A lot of people try to pigeonhole me into just a big man's coach and I'm just not a big man's coach. I'm a coach."
No. 2 Option: Brian Shaw
One of the big, although slightly under-the-radar, names on the coaching carousel this offseason has been and will continue to be Brian Shaw.
Shaw has both played under and coached under Phil Jackson, so no one should question the amount of basketball knowledge he's built up in his head over the years, even if he hasn't served as a head coach before.
Over the last year, Shaw has worked with the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach. He's one of the main reasons that the team was able to make the jump into the realms of the elite in the Eastern Conference.
The Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi has reported that Shaw is the leading candidate for the coaching position, but he's still not the No. 1 option in my book.
No. 1 Option: Phil Jackson
Even though Phil Jackson is retired and denies both that he is interested in and that he has been offered a part-time role within the front office of the Orlando Magic, he's still the No. 1 option if the Magic hope to keep Howard.
This may be a pipe dream, but bear with me, because if there's even a minute possibility of Jackson picking up the clipboard and pacing the sidelines, he's the No. 1 choice.
Jackson has a history of working with the biggest stars in the game, appeasing them and winning titles. He did it with Michael Jordan to the tune of six championships, and then he won a handful more with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Zen Master would be a great change of pace for Howard, inspiring confidence with both his people skills and his coaching skills.
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