NBA television analyst Shaquille O'Neal is interested in the vacant Orlando Magic general manager position and will interview for the job.
O'Neal's TNT colleague Charles Barkley told Dan Patrick that O'Neal would be interviewing for the position and that his past dustups with Magic star Dwight Howard shouldn't prevent him from getting the job.
ESPN's Marc Stein reports that O'Neal has privately been lobbying the Magic to give him an opportunity at landing the position and that the team is at least willing to meet with him. O'Neal played for the Magic from 1992 to 1996 and led the team to a NBA Finals appearance, but left the team to head out West to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite the move to the Lakers and later stints with the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and Boston Celtics, O'Neal kept his home in Orlando. He's interested in getting involved with the basketball organization and possibly even as an owner, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
The Magic are looking for a new general manager after firing Otis Smith, along with coach Stan Van Gundy, on Monday. Multiple names have been mentioned for the head coaching opening, including former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, but O'Neal is the only publicized general manager candidate.
In all likelihood the Magic are giving O'Neal a courtesy interview, but it's not rare for former players to make the jump to the front office. NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West was integral in building some of the dominant Lakers teams, while Larry Bird was recently named Executive of the Year for his work with the Indiana Pacers.