Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Vander Weide Speaks out

In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Bob Vander Weide speaks out on a whole host of issues. Following are some highlights:

  1. On Steve Francis’s suspension he said: “We wanted Stevie here when we made the trade. We still want Stevie. It was one incident. It had to do with rules on the court and how we apply those to everyone on the team. It's behind us. We've dealt with it appropriately. Stevie will be fine.” As for Francis’s trade possibilities he said: “If you're asking whether GMs are talking, well, that stuff happens. We traded to get Stevie here. Obviously, some of the other pieces haven't come together like we've wanted, but I think Stevie will be with us for a good, long time.” It is interesting that he addressed Francis in an intimate way by calling him “Stevie”. Let’s see how sincere he is when a good trade possibility presents itself.
  2. On the issue of Tracy McGrady’s trade, he said: “Once he told us he wanted to move on, we already had the experience of having another superstar going to another place and getting no value back. We weren't going to do that again. So we sold him as well as we could." That is open to speculation. I am sure T-Mac has something to say about it.
  3. He said all the right things about not blaming Grant Hill for the predicament that the team is in. Obviously he has a very high praise for Grant.
  4. In answering the question on whether or not the organization has gone cheap on some of the recent in-house hiring, he was evasive and not convincing, at least not in my opinion.
  5. On the fiasco of drafting Fran Vasquez, his answer shows the path that the organization has taken, and is still on. In my view, it is wiser to disown it and move on, but he didn’t.
  6. In answering to the question on whether or not Brian Hill is the right fit, he said: “Absolutely, with no hesitation. Brian Hill is doing a remarkable job. Just look at the script. Dooling is hurt. Grant is hurt. We've got a young roster. Brian is doing everything he can to move this team forward. We back him 100 percent. He is the right guy for a lot of years here.” Back to “Brian Hill is our coach” policy. That puts the sincerity of his comments on “Stevie” in serious doubt.
  7. On the issue of the team staying in town, he said: “In my heart and focus, we'll be in Orlando for the next 30 years. We're working with the mayors on a better Orlando. We're working on projects to enhance the community. We're not leading the charge, but we're supporting the process. I don't want to be anywhere else. My family doesn't want to be anywhere else. It got a little tough for four or five years. We want to bring championships to Orlando. I believe that every day I wake up. We are a very capable ownership team. We've never been cheap. We don't have a timeline established on the arena issue.” As hard as he tried, in my view, nothing came from the heart. He called the Orlando Magic a “product” which exactly explains the manner by which they have treated the franchise.
  8. When interviewer asked him a direct question: “Right now, if you don't get a new arena, are you leaving?” he answered: “No. It's a process. We may need to take three or four cracks at it, but we're working with the community to see what's best for Orlando.” I believe the question and the answer were set up all by design. I would never believe for a second that they will do what is best for Orlando, if that happens to be in contrast to their own interests.


  • At 1:31 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Excellent analysis, Pete. As I have stated earlier, Bob tried to come across like somebody who is rooted in town, and want to do what is best for the city, but he lacked the sincerity, and had too many statements that simply don’t add up. For example, he said his kids have been going to school in Orlando for nine years, and now in Michigan for the last three, and then said: “I guarantee you the cycle will shift again some day.” Well, that was the time that his wife was residing in Orlando, and since then has gone back to Michigan. There is no reason given to believe that they will reverse the decision to take the family back to Michigan.

    I agree with Tragicfan’s comments on another original posting in its entirety, that this a PR fluff. Bob has been in trouble before due to making strong statements, and when pressure built up, crumbled under. They did the same to John Weisbrod when they went along with a strong vote of confidence allowing him to disassemble the team. But on the first sign of disagreement, supposedly on Brian Hill’s hiring, let the guy fall.

    He boasts on draft picks of 2004. Granted Jameer’s pick was a smart move, but Dwight’s pick, as I understand, was a no-brainer. I hear that in the workout arranged, Dwight blew the roof off of RDV sports complex.

  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger TragicFan said…

    I moved my post from the other thread to here - Thanks Matt for the kind words.

    I found it to be a softball fluff PR piece. The Sentinel Sports staff in my opinion is much more a PR machine scared of losing their only pro-team in town than a bunch of journalists.

    Read the New York Times or the Detroit News - See how hard they are about their teams - Even when they are winning, they keep pushing for more.

    If I was doing that interview I would have followed up on some of that fluff. Like where he said they were committed to Brian Hill for years. That's the kind of stuff that gets them in trouble - If he can't make a winner by next year his tail should be out of here.

  • At 2:42 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    Magic has Pat Williams on the payroll paying him a nominal salary to have his good name attached to the organization. It would be good to bring him back in a more meaningful role, so that at least PR blunders would be avoided.

  • At 3:14 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Bob Vander Weide is dishonest when he refers to T-Mac's situation. I had the inside track on this. They brought the kid in, and asked him bluntly: Are you with us without "buts" and "ifs" attached? As you remember the issue with T-Mac was to pick Okafor instead of Howard, since he was under the impression that it would be a while before a high school kid develops into NBA material. He felt he had waited long enough for help to arrive. If they wanted to keep the kid happy, they could have invited him to the workouts. Instead they asked for his unconditional support and commitment knowing that he would say no. As I understand, the decision had been made to trade him. They just played it in a way to show that it was T-Mac’s wish to “move on”. And they say politics is a dirty thing.

  • At 5:12 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    The fact of the matter is none of us know what is true or not. Any opinion we have, or how we thought about whatever is based off of what they tell us. So that debate could go on for years. Sounds familiar, the same reason many still dwell on the Magic team and mistakes of the past, some 10 years old now. The only thing that matters is the present and the future.

    As for TMac, you'll never find me backing him. I understand he's probably the "best talent" in the NBA, but unless he changes a lot, that is all he ever will be. He's a guy who has bashed his teammates publicly for years, is that the kind of leader we want? Is that the kind of leader anyone wants?

  • At 7:34 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I believe McGrady write his ticket out of Orlando when he opted to sit out the final 10 games of the 2003-04 season to rest his injury, even though he probably could have played if he really wanted to. True, the Magic were already eliminated from the playoffs well before then, but I'm sure that decision by McGrady turned off many of his teammates and front office, because that gave them the impression that T-Mac wanted to jump ship and not be there for the team.

  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Nobody brings the past to the forefront just for the heck of it. It is unwise and unproductive. However, we cannot judge the present or build the future without looking in the past. Past experiences are the guidelines on how to avoid the pitfalls or making the same mistakes, over and over again.

    In our thought process, we all rely on some objective information mixed with our own subjective views, and we all are guilty of allowing the subjective part to cloud our objectivity, to some varying extent.

    As for T-Mac, I don’t think that I ever claimed that he is a leader or will ever be. Leadership qualities have nothing to do with a player’s ability to play the game. Most NBA players are eccentric one way or another. Majority of them think that they are special, and should be treated as such. We bear some because of what they bring to the game, and we ignore others altogether, because they don’t matter. T-Mac is not the worst of what we witness on a daily basis. My statement on the situation that resulted in his trade is based on the information that I believe to be true based on my trust on the inside source. Feel free to take it at the face value or disregard it.

  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    Welcome Mike from Illinois. Folks, there are undeniable facts based on which we are able to make our own assessment. Are we always 100% right? Of corse not. But if we limit our judgement and decision making only to cases of absolute certainty, nothing shall ever be done.


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