Thank goodness, Magic GM Rob Hennigan does not listen to you fans. Or us sports columnists. If he did, the Magic would be one of the worst teams in the league right now. OK, so the Magic ARE one of the worst teams in the league right now. But at least they're one of the worst teams with the hope of someday being one of the best teams. And you know what that astute NBA analyst Emily Dickinson once wrote: "Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all." In fact, hopeful Magic fans are singing a much different tune these days than the one skeptical Magic fans were singing when Hennigan -- the youngest GM in the league -- was trading the greatest player in franchise history (Dwight Howard) and one of the most beloved players in franchise history (J.J. Redick). Everybody remembers when the Dwight trade went down; when we all wondered what Hennigan was thinking by stubbornly and steadfastly refusing to go after Lakers' All-Star center Andrew Bynum in the deal. All of the so-called NBA experts insisted that the Magic got fleeced in the four-team deal because the Lakers got the big prize (Dwight) and the 76ers got the second-biggest prize (Bynum). We were all flabbergasted because Hennigan did not demand Bynum and, in fact, demanded NOT getting Bynum in the deal. The thorough, process-driven Hennigan simply did not trust the 24-year-old center with the 84-year-old knees. And, so, the 76ers ended up with Bynum, who sat out this entire season with bum knees, just underwent another knee surgery and now becomes an unrestricted free agent. If Hennigan had traded Dwight for Bynum straight up, the Magic would have no hope right now and their future would be wrecked. They would have essentially traded Dwight for nothing. They'd be the laughingstock of the league and Hennigan's job would already be in jeopardy. Instead, Hennigan sought the 76ers' undistinguished center Nik Vucevic, who has this year emerged as the league's top young big man. Only 22, Vucevic is the second-leading rebounder in the league, broke the Magic franchise record with 29 rebounds against the Heat earlier this year and is one of only 10 players in the league to average a double-double (12.0 points, 11.9 rebounds). On Wednesday night against Milwaukee, he became the first player in Magic history to ever have at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and five assists in a game.
Fortunately, Magic GM ignores fan, media noise
Orlando Sentinel | Apr 12