The Orlando Magic said so long to coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith on Monday. The Magic announced the firings after a tumultuous season that included a trade demand by center Dwight Howard and friction between the team’s star and the front office.
The move by Magic CEO Alex Martins and chairman Dan DeVos was not surprising considering the clashes with Howard.
“On behalf of the DeVos family, we sincerely appreciate and thank Otis and Stan for all that they have done on and off the floor for the Orlando Magic,” Martins said in a statement. “These are the days you dread in this business, but we feel it’s time for new leadership and new voices. They both brought die-hard dedication and an unmatched work ethic on a daily basis. Their success is well documented.
“The disappointment of getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs these past two seasons played a primary role in our decision, as we feel our momentum towards winning a championship has paused.”
Van Gundy, 51, served as coach for five years and compiled a 259-135 regular-season record. His teams made the playoffs five times and won three division titles and one Eastern Conference championship.
Since Smith became general manager in 2006, the Magic had the greatest run of success in franchise history and reached the NBA Finals for the second time in their history. In 2010, Smith was given the additional title of president of basketball operations.
The Sports Xchange