Jacque Vaughn To Be Named Magic Coach, According To Report

Rob Hennigan is the new Orlando Magic GM and has already cleaned house in the front office, but now he has to figure out what to do with Dwight Howard.

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Jacque Vaughn To Be Named Orlando Magic Coach, According To Report

Exeunt Stan Van Gundy, pursued by the malevolent spirit of Dwight Howard. Enter Jacque Vaughn, who will become the Orlando Magic's next head coach, according to the Orlando Sentinel's Joshua Robbins.

Vaughn had been rumored to be the top candidate for the Magic's top job since, at least, the 2012 Las Vegas Summer League, where he was coaching the Spurs' Summer League squad before mysteriously disappearing from the bench. Vaughn had been a Spurs assistant since 2010, having jumped directly into the coaching ranks under Gregg Popovich after retiring from the NBA following the 2009 season, when he served as a reserve point guard for San Antonio.

The power structure that had led the Orlando Magic for much of the Dwight Howard era was disassembled in early 2012 after the Magic failed to break into the top ranks of the Eastern Conference. Van Gundy was first to go, fired in May, followed by a "mutual" parting of ways with general manager Otis Smith, who was later replaced by former Thunder executive Rob Hennigan.

Will all of this convince Howard to stay in Orlando? No.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


New Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan Continues House Cleaning, According To Report

The Orlando Magic have been shaking things up all summer, and it seems there are still a lot of shake ups left due to the Dwight Howard situation. Not much more will happen in the front office, though, as new general manager Rob Hennigan cleaned house on Sunday afternoon.

Hennigan, hired by the team last week to replace Otis Smith, fired the majority of the remaining members of Orlando's basketball operations department, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

On Sunday, Hennigan fired Assistant General Manager Dave Twardzik and six scouts. In addition to Twardzik, regional scout Tom Conrad, international scout Rudy D'Amico, international scouting coordinator Sam Foggin, pro scout Bob Staak, regional scout Greg Stratton and NBA advance scout Al Walker were let go, team spokesman Joel Glass confirmed.

Scouting coordinator Brian Wright will remain on the staff, Glass said.

Hennigan's coaching staff will also be brand new, as head coach Stan Van Gundy was fired earlier this year and it's likely the new coach will bring in his own assistants.

Now all the team needs to do is figure out the on-court stuff, I guess.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.


Rob Hennigan To Be Orlando Magic GM, According To Reports

If you're ever part of a front office that builds a team of under-25-year-old stars that makes it to the NBA finals, you too can can get hired as an NBA general manager.

Multiple outlets are reporting that Oklahoma City Thunder assistant general manager Rob Hennigan will become the next general manager of the Orlando Magic. Hennigan, 30, will become the youngest GM in the league.

Before joining Oklahoma City, he spent four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. In a short time, he has established himself as a respected young NBA executive on the rise.

Upon his arrival in Orlando, Hennigan will be forced to focus on finding a resolution to the ongoing Dwight Howard saga, whether by re-signing the All-Star center to a long-term deal and again building around him with a slew of (likely unrealistic) offseason acquisitions, or by orchestrating a blockbuster trade that ships Howard out while attempting to keep the Magic competitive in the Eastern Conference in the years to come.

The timing of Orlando's hire is key, with the 2012 NBA draft looming. Hennigan's first order of business with the Magic will be overseeing the team's selections with the Nos. 19 and 49 picks in the June 28 draft.

The team fired former GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy in mid-May.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Dwight Howard Trade Will Be Job No. 1 For New Magic GM, According To Report

The Orlando Magic will soon hire either Jeff Bower or Dennis Lindsey as the team's new general manager, according to several reports. Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports that the first job for the new GM will be to trade Dwight Howard.

Howard famously waffled on his desire to remain in Orlando at the trade deadline. Eventually, the team plied him with gumdrops, and the All-NBA center waived his early termination option, leaving him under contract for the 2012-13 season.

Bower spent time as the GM of the New Orleans Hornets before being replaced by Dell Demps. Demps worked with Lindsey in the San Antonio Spurs' front office, where Lindsey is currently the assistant general manager behind R.C. Buford.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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Magic Make Jeff Bower Favorite For GM Position, According To Report

The Orlando Magic front office has had its share of ups and downs over the past year, but it seems to finally be trying to get things in order. After an odd report regarding Phil Jackson and a surprise first-year head coach, Orlando's apparently looking at more conventional routes of filling its general manager and coaching vacancies.

The Magic have said they plan to hire a new general manager before beginning their head coaching search. The favorite to help out in that search is, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, former New Orleans Hornets general manager (and coach) Jeff Bower.

The Orlando Magic's GM position remains vacant, with former Hornets GM Jeff Bower believed to be the favorite. Orlando is on track to have a GM in place with 7-10 days to spare before the June 28 draft, a person familiar with the process said.

Bower's credentials in the front office are strong considering he was in charge of the Hornets when they drafted Chris Paul and traded for Tyson Chandler, though it didn't end on a pleasant note in New Orleans when he was fired in July 2010. Since then, Bower's been mentioned as a candidate for nearly every open position, however, showing that he's respected throughout the league.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Phil Jackson, The Orlando Magic And A Strange But Seemingly True Story

The Orlando Magic have created a pretty clean slate for themselves this offseason following the firing of head coach Stan Van Gundy and the parting of ways with general manager Otis Smith. The team is still on the hook for Van Gundy's assistants and still has the Dwight Howard situation to deal with, of course, but everything else is wide open.

Knowing all of that, it kind makes sense that the team was reportedly in talks with Phil Jackson recently about a position within the organization. The Zen Master wouldn't have been the team's head coach, according to the story in the Orlando Sentinel, but he would have brought a lot of credibility to a team that frankly needs some following the recent front office debacles.

Those are the parameters of a Brian Schmitz story breaking the latest Jackson rumors, and while interesting on its own, the whole thing gets much more intriguing when the other characters get involved.

It appears, as long as yours truly is correctly comprehending the story, that former NBA assistant coach turned D-League head coach turned NBA head coach turned Lebanon National Team head coach Sam Vincent was brokering the Zen Master to Orlando deal.

Schmitz never really explains how Vincent got involved but quoted him as saying the deal, "drew some interest from Phil, but in the end, Phil decided to go with another opportunity."

Vincent's involvement was much deeper than just being the Jackson spokesperson, however -- he also had a master plan that would have involved Jackson mentoring the Magic's next head coach (which apparently was going to be, in this scenario, a former NBA All-Star without any previous coaching experience).

Vincent said that Jackson, 66, was intrigued enough by the idea that Vincent and another intermediary were preparing to fly to Jackson's home in Montana to speak with him. And, if the talks went well, they would next approach Howard. That intermediary with Vincent was a former all-star player and Hall of Famer who, in Vincent's plan, was to be the next coach of the Magic. Jackson would help mentor him.

The former player has never coached before, but surrounded by Jackson and a coaching staff including Vincent - former Charlotte Bobcats coach - and a couple of Jackson's former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coaches - Frank Hamblen and Jim Cleamons - the hope was that he could learn on the fly.

Vincent's plan is obviously unlikely to happen now that the Zen Master has bowed out of the running, but it's an interesting story regardless.

Now all we have to do is figure out how Vincent became involved in the Magic's hiring process in the first place.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Stan Van Gundy Firing Angers Brother Jeff, Causing Him To Berate Magic CEO Alex Martins

The Orlando Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy earlier this week in a move that was looked at as a way to appease All-Star Dwight Howard. While it's still up in the air if that'll work -- and even if that was their actual intention -- Van Gundy's brother Jeff made his feelings clear in an interview with fellow ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith in a radio interview on Thursday.

The Van Gundy that has been out of coaching longer was given an opening by Smith to talk about his feelings regarding his brother's firing, and unsurprisingly, Van Gundy took it and ran with it. The majority of his disgust was with Magic CEO Alex Martins, the current figurehead of the company.

"For him to have been in the office all day and the president -- Alex Martins -- knows that he's there, but then lets him and calls him on the phone to fire him? It's unprofessional. Just unprofessional," Van Gundy said during the radio interview.

"To try to make everyone believe that Dwight Howard didn't have a part in this is absurd," Jeff Van Gundy said. "Just say, 'we fired this guy because we feel this is our best chance to keep Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard and I decided to fire him.'"

Jeff wasn't done with Martins after that, though, as he then launched into what has to be one of his better (public) tirades on a man who runs an NBA franchise.

"He said that my brother's the finest X's and O's coach that he's been around in his 25 years in the business. Listen, all you have done in your 25 years in the business is release press releases and run the business side," Jeff Van Gundy said. "You don't know if a ball is blown up or stuffed! You don't know if their pick and roll coverage on the side or high was right or wrong! Just say I have no knowledge about basketball."

"It's offensive when someone who has no knowledge about basketball -- even in the positive comments -- tries to sort of negate what Brian Hill did as a coach or what Matt Guokas did as a coach," JVG went on to say. "(Martins) doesn't know one thing about basketball, so please, hold off your comments on my brother's expertise since you know nothing about basketball."

The younger Van Gundy didn't only comment on the Magic CEO's basketball acumen, though, as Jeff also was unhappy with the way Martins handled announcing the firing of his brother.

"At the press conference they held, to be going on and on about how difficult of a day it is for you personally, Alex Martins, to fire people -- and he does this every time they fire somebody at the Magic -- is with callous disregard for how it impacts the people that he's just fired."

"My brother's fine financially, but (Martins) has uprooted so many other lives and he wants empathy because he has it hard?" Van Gundy said. "Callous disregard for what normal Americans are going through. He's fired many people there, and he always comes up with the same thing without regard for their feelings."

Jeff Van Gundy obviously isn't the most unbiased person when it comes to the firing of Stan Van Gundy. That said, however, it's quite surprising that he'd take as many shots at Martins as he did, considering he'll likely be scheduled to cover the team in the future.


For more on Van Gundy and the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Jerry Sloan Wants To Coach Again, Could Interview With Charlotte Bobcats This Week

Jerry Sloan has been out of basketball for just over one year, but the longtime head coach of the Utah Jazz would like to return to the sidelines in the near future. The veteran coach has interest in both of the jobs currently open, too, according to interview he did on Tuesday.

Sloan told the Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday that he's talked to Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan -- the same player that beat his Jazz in the NBA Playoffs -- and could meet with them by the end of the week.

According to Sloan, undertaking such a massive rebuilding job would not prevent him from considering Charlotte.

"Obviously, you probably wouldn't win [a championship] right off the bat," he said. "But sometimes it's not all about starting on top."

If not the Bobcats, Sloan also told Fox Sports Florida that he'd be interested in coaching the Orlando Magic. The Magic found themselves with a vacancy after firing Stan Van Gundy on Monday.

Sloan told FOX Sports Florida on Tuesday he has interest in the Orlando Magic job.

"Yes, I think so,'' Sloan said from his farm in McLeansboro, Ill., about his interest. "It would be very intriguing. But they would have to be interested in me.''

It seems that Sloan wants to coach in the NBA this year, regardless of location. Considering his history, there's almost definitely going to be a team interested in his services.


Dwight Howard Wants Trade From Magic Despite Stan Van Gundy's Firing, According To Report

The Orlando Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy Monday in what many believed to be an attempt to appease all-star center Dwight Howard. Howard has yet to make any public comments on the firing, but reports have already surfaced that it hasn't helped.

It's probably best taken with a bit of skepticism until Howard issues some sort of statement -- he hasn't spoken to the media recently -- but former ESPN writer Chris Sheridan reports that "sources close to Howard" have indicated he wants out of Orlando ... regardless of the coaching staff.

But in fact, the source said, Howard wants out of Orlando more than he ever did before in order to start a new chapter of his career. And it is well-known throughout the league that the Magic do not want to endure another soap opera season like the one they just experienced.

It'll be interesting to see what kind of public stance Howard takes on the recent developments. It was made clear during the season that Howard and Van Gundy didn't get along, so one would assume a new coach would help matters in Orlando.

For more on Van Gundy, Smith and the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Brian Shaw, Michael Malone Emerge As Early Favorites For Orlando Magic Coach

The Orlando Magic have had a head coaching vacancy for less than 24 hours, but names to replace the fired Stan Van Gundy have already emerged. The regular up-and-coming assistant coaches have all been mentioned as possibilities to take over a team that may or may not feature Dwight Howard.

The Magic job may not be looked at as the top job on the open market due to the Dwight factor, but the team is apparently readying to court a few of the top young assistants in the NBA. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated reports that two assistants with ties to Phil Jackson's Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff -- Brian Shaw and Chuck Person -- along with Golden State Warriors top assistant Mike Malone are the top candidates.

But who is best to replace Van Gundy and keep Howard firmly planted in Orlando? Sources said Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone and Pacers assistant Brian Shaw will be strong candidates.

It'll be interesting to see what the Magic decide to do ... and whether these assistants are interested in keeping Van Gundy's assistants, considering they've all been given the option of staying in Orlando next season. That likely wouldn't be as big of a problem for Malone, however, as his father Brendan was on Van Gundy's staff last season.

For more on Van Gundy, Smith and the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Dwight Howard Refusing To Play For Stan Van Gundy 'Completely Made Up,' According To Report

The reportedly mercurial relationship between Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and head coach Stan Van Gundy has taken many twists and turns. The latest twist came on Wednesday, when a report came out stating that Howard had called team owner Rich DeVos and stated that he would no longer play under Van Gundy.

ESPN.com now reports that the story may have been largely inaccurate.

"It's a completely made up, BS story," one of Howard's representatives told ESPN.com.

Two sources told ESPN.com, though, that Howard did not reach out to DeVos in such a fashion.

Howard has missed time with a back injury but will be re-evaluated by doctors next week to determine his health for the upcoming postseason. The strained relationship between Howard and Van Gundy has seen no shortage of media attention. That attention will likely only intensify during the playoffs.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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Dwight Howard Did Not Ask For Stan Van Gundy To Be Fired, Otis Smith Says

Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith addressed the lingering feud between Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy on Saturday, taking a more firm stance on the situation. In an interview with ESPN, Smith placed blame at the feet of both Van Gundy and Howard, saying the former was wrong for making the situation public and the latter was wrong if he asked for his coach to be fired.

Notice the "if" in there. It's there because Smith said he had no knowledge of Howard asking for Van Gundy to be fired.

"He never asked me; I didn't have that knowledge," Smith said.

A bit odd that everyone has reported Howard wanted his coach fired while the team's general manager shrugs and says "I don't know." But alas, that's where the situation stands, and it may not matter.

Smith wasn't exactly itching to confirm Van Gundy would be around long-term, which also shouldn't be a surprise.

Smith also confirmed Saturday that Van Gundy will coach the Magic through the rest of the season. But when asked if Van Gundy will return next year, Smith was less sure.

"Don't have the answer for that," Smith said. "I don't have the answer to who's going to be on our roster, either."

It still seems like a matter of time before Van Gundy is shown the door, but things can change in a hurry, as we've seen before with the Magic saga.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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