After being considered the front-runner to land the Orlando Magic head coaching job for over two weeks, former San Antonio Spurs player and current assistant coach Jacque Vaughn has been named the head coach of the Magic according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
Vaughn is expected to be introduced in a press conference on Monday in Orlando. Since retiring from the NBA in 2009 with the Spurs, Vaughn has spent the last two seasons sitting, learning, and understanding the role of becoming a head coach under arguably the best active coach in the game right now, Gregg Popovich.
Vaughn is going into an environment plagued by media drama as disgruntled superstar Dwight Howard has been demanding a trade before the season begins. The Magic have tried countless scenarios to put a package together where they receive a good package in return, but none has come to fruition thus far.
The Magic are expected to continue looking for a way to ship out Howard for trade picks in order to begin building a new future through next seasons draft. There’s a good chance Vaughn won’t have to work with Howard this season, but if he does, Howard will learn why Spurs players enjoyed playing under Vaughn. Vaughn is a hard working professional who was always working out with guys like Tim Duncan, Danny Green, or Gary Neal two hours before game time at the AT&T Center this past season.
Vaughn even led the Spurs’ Summer League team to a 3-2 record two weeks ago in Las Vegas. One person who won’t be happy with this hiring is Shaquille O’Neal, but it seems that the Magic management didn’t really care too much for Shaq’s opinion.
For the Spurs, they’ve now lost two assistant coaches this summer as Don Newman also took a job as an assistant in Washington with the Wizards. The Spurs may have to look into hiring another assistant coach as only Mike Budenholzer and Brett Brown, whom is coaching the Australian National team in the Olympics, are the only two coaches remaining. The team still has the option of promoting within, as there is still shooting coach Chip Engelland and former Spur Sean Marks who worked with the team last season.