Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rob Hennigan: Kill Shot Specialist

I'll cherish that cheesy grin more if we hoist the title. In a past life I’m sure new Magic GM Rob Hennigan must have been a gun slinger. The 30-year-old has a quick draw faster than the Grim Reaper’s hook slash. The man definitely knows what he wants and isn’t hesitant to act on those thoughts. Someone fell free to upgrade his Wikipedia page. In the end, Alex Martins and Dan DeVos made the correct selection. You'll find very few protesters of Rob's appointment, which is already a great sign in moving forward to mending and healing a franchise that has fallen apart. Where's Anthony Davis to play Mr. Potato Head when you need him? He'd know how to help put ourselves back together. Dave Twardzik and those half dozen player scouts getting canned wasn’t a shock. It's the rapid fire timing that is near astonishing. Hennigan hit the reset button faster than a janitor can bleach out the piss and puke stains of a stairwell or corridor that represents our almost nonexistent draft 'success'. Orlando’s draft history over the past decade is beyond putrid. New blood is absolutely necessary to right the war room ship. Adonal Foyle losing his employment definitely caught everyone off guard. No doubt about it, I'm still stunned. Even in job uncertainty, Adonal still exited with complete grace. The DeVos family adore Mr. Hands of Stone. So to see Foyle pack his things and get the boot means that Rob isn’t being treated like a young, inexperienced employee. ‘Henny’ is like John Weisbrod, except the ‘Hockey Guy’ was bulldozing the roster more than managerial personnel. For Hennigan's sake (and his wife's sake), Rob will last a lot longer than 'JW' did in town.

Is Dwight Howard next on the chopping block? Well, if Daryl Morey and the Rockets have any say in the situation then the odds are pretty good that Orlando won’t have a #12 on the court come the ‘12-‘13 campaign. Houston is rapidly acquiring picks and making moves at a Hungry Hungry Hippo pace. Let’s get one thing straight about how Rob is running the show. Dwight or no Dwight, Hennigan was going to make these Magic front office shuffles one way or another. There is no more appeasing Howard anymore. Alex Martins made it pretty plain and clear that it’s Dwight’s decision to make (sooner rather than later) whether or not he’s on board for the long haul in Orlando. We’ve coddled and tip-toed around this issue long enough. It’s time to be blunt. Dwight has been in Los Angeles for well over 2 months. Dwight has avoided Twitter and any contact with fans. He’s not even getting on a plane to observe his own basketball camp. What’s he afraid of? That a 5-hour flight will somehow set back his recovery? That he might pull a Dennis Scott and traumatize kids with crazy stories and life lessons? That he can’t make excuses about his franchise basically beginning a clean slate while still showing the buying power to compete? What’s there to avoid?

We now have a man pulling the strings with championship experience. Actually 2 championship experienced men if you now count newly hired Assistant GM Scott Perry. 48 years old is still rather young by front office standards. Perry had his role in the Pistons' championship run. I trusted Otis Smith his entire GM tenure. For the most part, he really didn't fail us. There was a lot more good than bad when you sit back and analyze the transactions. But I'll get to that at a later date. Now I have to instill total trust in a man that's just six years older than me. 'Henny' is off to a great yet gory beginning. Rob's communication skills are definitely a lot different from Otis'. You don't see many mind games from the humble new addition to the Orlando family. But you can see there's a pure killer instinct in his demeanor which he's already displaying. Unless Dwight actually gets traded Thursday night (or very shortly after), any selections or exchanges we make will have little or nothing to do with Howard. Even if we nab a center, we should only view him as D12's backup for the time being. The future of current players on the roster isn't up in the air because of D12. Henny knows what he wants/wishes to do with each of them. Switching focus back to Thursday. Rob is known as the 'draft scout guru' in some circles. So we'll get a feel for what type of player(s) Hennigan wants and if they'll mirror the Spurs' or Thunder's draft selection history. It's not all about position. Does Rob want experienced college guys? Will he gamble on an international player in the 2nd round? How much does Rob value defense? The questions and pondering will be endless as Draft Night approaches. It'll be more exciting than trading to nab another second round pick as we did last year. Here's to Hennigan giving Harper and Liggins a chance. 

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