Former Orlando Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide divulged to the Orlando Sentinel that when Dwight Howard compared himself to Michael Jordan he realized the necessity of shipping the player elsewhere.
“When he told me he was an icon,” Vander Weide told George Diaz, “guess what three names he used? Michael Jordan. Muhammad Ali. Nelson Mandela.”
The current Houston Rockets center, though an eight-time All Star, lacks an NBA title or even an MVP award. Jordan owns six rings, Ali won the lineal heavyweight championship three times, and Mandela won a Nobel Peace Prize.
“Are you kidding me? We’ve been to the Finals once and you’re a great athlete, and you’re an icon like these three? I knew it was over. I knew there was no chance of keeping him,” Vander Weide told the paper.
Howard fans, the one who think he’s as great as Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, and Nelson Mandela but smart enough never to reveal it, harbor reasons beyond wish to disbelieve the former basketball executive.
The Magic ultimately traded Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers but not before they rid themselves of Vander Weide. The CEO said in 2012 that he retired to spend more time with his family. It turns out that Vander Weide, famously accused of drunk-dialing Howard during their time in Orlando, separated from the Magic after twenty years right after he separated from the owner’s daughter after 28 years. Sentinel writer Mike Bianchi cited the “misinformation” as “Exhibit No. 9,478 of why you should never believe coaches, administrators, CEOs, etc., when they say they are quitting to become day-care daddies.”