Orlando Magic CEO Resigns Days After Allegedly Drunk Dialing Dwight Howard
Nov. 13, 2011: Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard laughs while falling to the floor after attempting a 3-point shot during the first half of an exhibition basketball game in Orlando, Fla.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide has resigned after nearly 20 years with the NBA club, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.
Vander Weide, 50, made the decision to step down just days after making a drunken, early-hour phone plea to Magic superstar Dwight Howard, in the hopes of keeping the dominant big man in Orlando.
The longtime NBA executive admitted to Bright House Sports Network (BHSN) he may have been intoxicated when he called Howard at 1:00am to let him know how much he wanted to keep him in a Magic uniform.
"Maybe Dwight thought it was inappropriate to talk business after a couple of glasses of wine... Maybe I should have waited until the morning," Vander Weide told BHSN Tuesday.
Howard, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, is expected to be courted by several teams across the league.
Vander Weide did not cite the late-night mishap as a deciding factor to his resignation, adding he and Howard maintain "a very good relationship."
Sources told BHSN Vander Weide's decision was linked to ongoing marital problems with his wife Cheri, who is the daughter of Magic owner Rich DeVos.
Vander Weide denied the report, telling BHSN there was "no divorce" in the works, but added part of his decision to step down was "to put more of focus on family."
"I have five kids; two in college, a 15-year-old, 13-year-old and nine-year-old and they deserve more attention than I have been able to give them in the past few years," said Vander Weide whose contract was set to expire on Dec. 31.
Vander Weide joined the Magic in 1992 as vice president of basketball operations. He then served as the club's president for 16 years before being named CEO in July 2010. He is expected to remain with the team in a consulting role.