Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith and His Family Have Received Physical Threats

Otis Smith, the man with the unenviable task of convincing Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando (or at the very least, not get hosed in a trade for the franchise center), talks to the Orlando Sentinel about the pressures of his job, and reveals that he has received threats against himself and his family. Yikes: “I handle it fine. I can’t do anything more than I can do, one. Second, my track record pretty much speaks for itself. Until we go all the way down, how can you condemn me? For what? Trying? Condemn me. If trying is a sin, then I have sinned a lot, because I’m never going to stop trying. That’s not my makeup. I don’t read what you write. I really don’t. When I say I don’t, I really don’t. So I don’t know. I get a lot of people saying, ‘Hang in there.’ And I don’t really know what they’re talking about, because I don’t read it. And I really don’t. Good or bad, I just don’t read it. So, from my standpoint, I will continue to do what I have to do in order to get this team where it needs to be. When we made the trades last year, I didn’t make the trades last year thinking it was going to turn us around right away. No. As a matter of fact, I think I said, ‘This trade is going to take some time. It’s not going to be one of those things where it’s hit or miss.’ I normally do not trade during the course of the season. It’s just something I don’t like to do, because it takes a while to get your chemistry back. I knew the team that was on the floor [before the trades] wasn’t going to get it done. Also, we’d seen enough in Ryan and Brandon [Bass] to know they could hold that position down. That was enough for us … You can’t take one of these jobs, mine or Stan’s, and have thin skin. You have to have pretty thick skin. It’s not us; it’s the people around us that’s affected the most. We signed up for it. No one put a gun to our head and told us to take it. It’s our families that are affected the most. Sentinel: Do you mean not having you at home? Smith: ‘No, just all the comments. Just because I don’t read it, that doesn’t necessary mean that they don’t or aren’t threatened by it.’ Sentinel: When you say ‘threatened,’ you don’t mean physically? Smith: ‘I’ve gotten those, too.’ Sentinel: You have. But not your family? Smith: ‘No, I’ve gotten those, too.’ Sentinel: What do you do in those cases? Do you call the police? Smith: ‘I just have to be a little extra cautious and let those around me know that the threat is there. But I don’t concern myself with it.’”