Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has declined an opportunity to interview for the Orlando Magic’s vacant general manager position.
O’Neal, who spent his first four NBA seasons in Orlando, was tipped in a report by ESPN as a possible candidate to replace Otis Smith, who left the team Monday on mutual terms.
But the seven-footer whose size and personality garnered countless nicknames, including "The Diesel," "Superman" and "The Big Shamrock," was apparently not ready to add "The Big GM" to his repertoire.
"When I first heard about the vacancy for the Orlando Magic general manager position, I was clearly intrigued," O’Neal said in a statement Thursday.
"I was drafted by the Magic, I have a great love for the franchise, and I have made the city of Orlando my home. Additionally, I have great admiration and respect for the DeVos family. However, this is not a job I have an interest in pursuing."
According to the ESPN report, the thought was that O’Neal’s presence would help the Magic retain superstar center Dwight Howard.
But the 40-year-old, who announced his retirement after the 2010-11 season, said he was relishing his first run as an analyst for TNT.
"I feel very fortunate to be with TNT and to have the best job in sports," O’Neal said. "I look forward to many more years with Charles (Barkley), Kenny (Smith) and E.J. (Ernie Johnson)."
The next general manager will face a tall task as the club deals with continuing uncertainty over Howard’s future with the team.
The Magic also are looking for a new head coach after firing Stan Van Gundy, who publicly feuded with Howard over accusations that the star center had sought Van Gundy’s ouster.