ORLANDO, Fla. — Shaquille O'Neal added the designations "Dr." and "Ph.D." to his name when he received his doctorate in organizational learning and leadership from Barry University earlier this month.
Now, he might be seeking an additional title: GM.
ESPN reported Wednesday night that O'Neal will meet with Orlando Magic officials next week to discuss the team's vacant general manager job.
A Magic spokesman would not comment. Team officials, including CEO Alex Martins, who is heading the search for Otis Smith's replacement, have said they will not address any rumors, whether those rumors are true or false.
O'Neal could not immediately be reached for comment.
The notion of O'Neal as the Magic's general manager seems absurd at first blush. He played his first four NBA seasons for the team, leading the Magic to the 1995 Finals, but he left the franchise via free agency in 1996.
One of the first tasks of the Magic's new general manager will be to attempt to convince Dwight Howard to remain with the team for the long term. O'Neal has sent a number of barbs and veiled insults in Howard's direction in recent years that have upset Howard.
Martins said the ideal hire will have extensive experience, a strong background in managing player personnel, a history of successful long-term planning and the ability to set a culture for the department. Martins added that NBA championship experience would be a "plus."
O'Neal, 40, has the championship experience, with four NBA titles on his resume.
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