NEW: Magic Introduce Hennigan as General Manager
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Hennigan becomes the youngest General Manager in the NBA after serving as an Assistant General Manager with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Hennigan says he was in no hurry to leave Oklahoma City, but the Magic job was too good of a fit to pass up.
"It was clear they were committed to winning, and not only winning, but doing things the right way," Hennigan said. "That's something that resonated with me."
Hennigan's rise to the top of an NBA franchise has been a meteoric one. He broke into the NBA as an intern with the San Antonio Spurs in 2004, and has been viewed as one of the hottest young executives in the league ever since. Before San Antonio, Hennigan starred at St. John's in Shrewsbury, helping the school win a state championship in 2000. He then went on to Emerson College in Boston, where he set the school's all-time scoring record.
But, how did Hennigan climb the ranks of NBA executives so quickly?
"The simple answer is a lot of luck," Hennigan said with a chuckle. "I've had the fortune to work in a lot of great places for a lot of great people."
While Hennigan has said that becoming a GM was a goal, he knows he will have little time to relax as Orlando looks to hire a new coach and prepare for the draft. Hennigan says the process of finding a new coach will begin immediately, and that understands the pressures of being the General Manager.
"There's no question there's pressure, this is a pressure business," Hennigan said. "You have to earn your keep, and nobody's going to do you any favors."
The Magic as a franchise seem to be at a crossroads, dealing with star center Dwight Howard's changing temperament and desire to stay in town. Hennigan would not go into specifics on when he would reach out to Howard, but did say he wanted to keep the lines of communication open.
"Clearly Dwight is one of the best players in the NBA," "We look forward to continuing our dialogue with him."
Despite the immediate needs of the Magic, Hennigan says the philosophies he picked up in San Antonio and Oklahoma City will not change. He wants to build an organization with "good people" that share a common vision.
"Simply put, our goal is to build an elite basketball organization, in every way."