The 2011-2012 season was a roller coaster ride for the Orlando Magic, and not a good. On Monday May 21, 2012 the Orlando Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy, and General Manager Otis Smith. The announcement to the media came from Magic’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Alex Martins. He said, “On behalf of the DeVos Family (Magic’s owner), we sincerely appreciate and thank Otis and Stan for all that they have done on and off the floor for the Orlando Magic.” The Magic knew it was time to make a change so that is just what they did. Martin said, “There are the Days you dread in this business but we feel it’s time for new leadership and new voices.”
Stan Van Gundy was head coach of the Orlando Magic for 5 years and Otis Smith was Orlando’s general manager for six years, but the Orlando Magic organization made its decision and let the two go. Coach Gundy was a good coach for the team but it was time to part ways. In Orlando, Coach Gundy had a total win-lose record of 259-139. In 2009 Gundy coached the team all the way to winning the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, and the team finally got to played in the Finals. But in past two post seasons the Magic were not able to make it past the first round of the playoffs. Talking about Smith and Gundy, Martins said, “Their success is well documented, as the Orlando Magic has had the fourth best record in the NBA over the last five years, and entering the playoffs this year with the third most playoff wins over that period of time. 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 toward winning a championship has paused. We wish Otis and Stan all the best and we look forward to taking the next step towards winning that championship.”
After the dysfunctional season Orlando had, most drama happening after the All-Star game from the team’s super star Dwight Howard, not many are surprised with this announcement. First the Magic’s star player Dwight Howard wanted to be traded to another team, then planned to stay with the Magic, next looked to sign with another team during his fee agency this summer, then felt forced to stay with the Magic another year and did so with a request that the organization fire coach Stan Van Gundy. After all that, Howard had back surgery and was unable to play in the 2011-2012 NBA Playoffs with his team that he would be with for one more year.
This move made by the Orlando Magic has been expected to happen and I believe it was a good move on their part. After reading about all that has gone on with the team this past season I did not see how Coach Gundy could have remained head coach of the same team and obtain control. Too much damage was done and the Orlando Magic had to do something about it. Now Orlando is turning their attention to Dwight Howard. The team does not want to go though the same thing that happened this past season so there is a possibility that if Howard does not see his future in Orlando he could be traded. Matins said, “I think the decision is on Dwight now.” It will be interesting to see what Howard decides and what other changes are made to the team.
To Read more of the drama that happened during the season:
Term to Know:
NBA General Manager – someone who makes personnel decisions. a general manager chooses and recruts players, and coaching and training staff. They may also take part in creating budgets and helping in marketing efforts.