The Orlando Sentinel’s Brian Schmitz on a small bit of drama on Orlando’s chartered flight the other day.

Magic Coach Brian Hill was in no mood for another foul-up.

Not after Saturday night’s devastating loss to the Sacramento Kings in Orlando.

But when all-star center Dwight Howard (above, right) was late for the team plane, bound for Miami and Sunday’s game against the Heat, Hill had had enough.

He was so upset he basically advised the pilot to put the wheels up and leave Howard behind.

Of course, most of Hill’s anger was in frustration and to send a message to Howard.

No way he was going to leave Howard in Orlando and have the Magic face Shaq without him.

According to witnesses, Hill told the pilot, “Let’s go!” as Howard pulled up close to the tarmac and was scrambling to make the flight.

Apparently, at least one player quickly got off the plane and said he had left something in his car, a tactic to stall for Howard.

Hill was fuming all the way to South Florida, sitting in his own smoking section, if you get my drift.

The New York Post’s Peter Vescey
seeks to quell speculation that Larry Brown might be the next coach of the Charlotte Bobcats.

From what I understand, the idea is to hire an Avery Johnson-Nate McMillan-Sam Mitchell Type-A personality coach. You know, someone in the habit of being a little more straight up with the players than Next Town Brown, someone who demands respect, isn’t carrying any baggage and isn’t all that far removed from actual competition.

As for Bickerstaff, he notified Michael Jordan at the outset of the season this would be his last year coaching. So how come some media members would have us believe he’s being expelled by Jordan? Anyone who passed English comprehension should simply read His Airness’ lips. He’s on the record saying a top job in Charlotte’s front office is being saved for Bickerstaff.

In other words, there’s every reason to believe, regardless of how many former cabinet constituents he re-enlists, Bickerstaff will be Jordan’s consigliore in the sculpturing the coaching staff, roster and team identify.

With apologies to Sports Illustrated, here’s a real sign the apocalypse is upon us : guy decides to trim his blogroll to only include sites he’d recommend on a regular basis…and there’s actual debate over whether he did so of his own volition.