The short-lived news that Shaquille O'Neal would talk with the Orlando Magic about the team's general manager position quickly achieved its desired purpose, to wit: publicity, followed by even greater hilarity.
Only a franchise as screwy and unprofessional as Orlando would consider O'Neal as a GM. Shaq does year-round what he used to do in the offseason. He's a television personality, an endorser, a rapper, a guy who fantasizes about a career in law enforcement and a holder of various honorary degrees. In other words, a professional dilettante.
Problem is, the evaluation of talent isn't something you play at. It's not a role. It's a profession . Athleticism in the evaluator confers no talent at the task (ask Michael Jordan). The job rewards stealth, not bombast. A real GM has both a gift and a learned skill. He has survived a rigorous period of apprenticeship.
Now, you hear a lot about coaching trees but not nearly enough about the lineage of various front offices. Toward that en...