I thought yesterday was weird.
In a news cycle that just gets more and more ridiculous, David Aldridge now reports that the Orlando Magic are considering filing tampering charges against two unnamed teams for illicit contact with center Dwight Howard. Sam Amick of SI.com reports that the New Jersey Nets are one of those teams, and that the other — the Houston Rockets — aren’t expected to be charged.
This isn’t the first time that the Magic have considered tampering charges in order to keep their star center. Orlando also asked the league to investigate potential tampering in 1996, when Shaquille O’Neal left the Magic to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Nothing came of the investigation, and the Lakers won three titles with Shaq in Los Angeles.
Chris Broussard later added that the alleged meeting included Nets GM Billy King.
Let me start by saying: if true (and it is only alleged at this point), this is simultaneously amazing, ludicrous, ridiculous, fantastical, and brain-shattering. If this meeting is indeed confirmed, not only will I be drowning myself in the finest Russian vodka known to man tonight, the Nets could face front-office suspensions, fines, and/or loss of draft picks.
In a phone conversation, Howard simply said, “there was no meeting.”
Aldridge also notes that according to his source, the package of Brook Lopez and draft picks is “not at all interesting to the Magic,” and that if they’re forced to make a deal, they will dictate where Howard is dealt:
“This will not be another Shaq situation,” the source said. The Magic will “do what’s in the best interests of the organization” and will not be left with nothing.
Meanwhile, another potential free agent match for New Jersey is off the market: Grant Hill has signed a one-year contract worth $6.5 million to stay with the Suns through 2011-12.