|Stan Van Gundy|
Well, you can say the Magic is gone. Or they've lost their Magic touch. Or Magic...well...nevermind.
The Orlando Magic, to the surprise of nobody have fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and agreed to a "Mutual" parting of the ways with GM Otis Smith.
We say nobody was surprised because, well, the whole Sports world saw it coming.
Van Gundy publcily feuded with egotistical Magic star player Dwight Howard. The highlight of their relationship came April 5th, when Van Gundy publicly said that he knew Howard had been lobbying team executives to fire him.
As for Smith, he's taken the blame for not being able to surround Howard, who though apparently a big egotist, is also one of the best talents in the NBA. Multiple trades and reconfiguring of the players around Howard has brought exactly no NBA titles and a moody Howard wanting to play anyplace but Orlando.
More from the Orlando Sentinel RIGHT HERE
Like we said, none of this is a surprise. Howard, who is a complete Free Agent after the upcoming season has made no secret of wanting to leave town...on the next plane. He did...allegedly...say he'd consider staying with new coaches and players.
However, the Magic do not have tons of Salary Cap flexibility and have few players that other teams would be interested in. We think that Howard will be traded so they can begin rebuilding this offseason. We may be wrong.
Van Gundy is highly regarded in the coaching biz and though he is now 0-2 with teams in Florida, expect him to eventually land another gig during the season after an NBA team fires a coach for a poor start.
As for Smith, though also highly regarded, he is going to have a tougher time. The personnel decisions he's made, such as the ill fated acquisition and eventual trade of Vince Carter, the trade of Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas and other debacles, will haunt him for a long time. We wish him luck.
We also wish whomever steps in and runs this dysfunctional group a lot of luck. Although a premier talent, Dwight Howard has done nothing to enhance his reputation during the free agent song and dance over the past year. He's come across as very selfish, very egotistical and very indecisive about his potential future. It's a shame and a mess. And a mess that some coach (probably a young one) is going to have to sort out in the next few months.
Here's the infamous interview that probably sealed everybody's fate: