In a preseason meeting with since-departed Orlando Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide, center Dwight Howard named Brian Shaw and Michael Malone as coaches he'd like Orlando to hire to replace Stan Van Gundy, according to a report from David Baumann of Bright House Sports Network. Vander Weide resigned just before the season, allowing Alex Martins to take over as Magic CEO.
Van Gundy revealed Thursday he's known Howard had asked management to fire him all season long.
According to Baumann, the Magic elected not to take Howard's suggestions under advisement, "which led to part of Howard's growing frustration with the team."
Shaw, a veteran of 14 NBA seasons, including three with the Magic, served the Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant coach under Phil Jackson for seven seasons. Rather than promote Shaw upon Jackson's retirement in 2011, Los Angeles chose to hire former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown. Shaw then joined Frank Vogel's staff with the Indiana Pacers, where he serves as an associate head coach.
Malone, currently an assistant with the Golden State Warriors, served under Brown with the Cavaliers and later as the lead assistant coach under Monty Williams with the New Orleans Hornets. He is the son of Magic assistant coach Brendan Malone. According to the elder Malone, "Michael was never asked" by Orlando to be its head coach. "But, he's a great young coach and there are a lot of teams that want him." A tip from Michael Malone led Orlando to sign point guard Ish Smith in February, following Golden State's decision to release him.
Kevin Samples, Howard's business manager and cousin, offered an interesting response to Baumann's question about why Orlando didn't part ways with Van Gundy following the team's surprising first-round playoff exit against the Atlanta Hawks in 2011. "That's a great question," Samples said. "You'll have to ask Otis (Smith)." Smith is Orlando's President of Basketball Operations.