I can’t help but continue to go back to the last time former Orlando Magic Head Coach Scott Skiles talked publicly. That came on April 14th in the end-of-season interviews held at Amway Center. The night before, the Magic had just gotten beat in Charlotte by the Hornets.
It certainly has worked in Orlando’s favor now with the Frank Vogel hiring, but who would have thought that the below footage would be the last we’d see of Skiles as a Magic employee?
It’s been a few days since the official introduction by the Orlando Magic, which means Frank Vogel already has a longer coaching tenure than Billy Donovan. Magic fans can relax and rejoice as we reflect a bit on Vogel’s official introduction. We discuss possible Magic free agency targets, and what to do with Evan Fournier. Finally, we end the show with CEO Alex Martins bringing up Orlando’s bid for another NBA All-Star Weekend.
Happy to show off the new microphone.
Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.
The Orlando Magic officially introduced Frank Vogel on Monday afternoon, becoming the 13th Head Coach in franchise history. It was an impressive press conference that included GM Rob Hennigan on stage next to Vogel fielding some questions, and then CEO Alex Martins talking some questions once the press conference was over. The interview room was jam-packed with members of the media as the buzz and excitement could not be hidden.
Vogel mentioned how much he loved the roster. He threw out names like Evan Fournier, Victor Oladipo – those 2 were present in the far back of the room – as well as Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton, Mario Hezonja, and Aaron Gordon. The 42-year-old Vogel believes that the core group they have now – with the addition of a few tough veterans – can become a great team in the league. I believe that, and I believe him.
Expect to see Vogel try and turn this Magic team into a top-10 defensive team, just like the Indiana Pacers were during his tenure there. What will be different is the offense. Expect a lot of up-tempo play that will allow this athletic roster to potentially thrive.
The chemistry between Vogel and Hennigan can’t be contained. There’s just an 8 or 9-year age gap between them. Both played Division III basketball, and both see a bright future ahead. The rest of the coaching staff will be assembled in the week ahead, and Vogel also wants to meet every single Magic player face-to-face. Vogel does admit that Hennigan would beat him in a game of one-on-one, but age being the main reason. I liked that answer.
After the press conference, CEO Alex Martins took questions. Vogel was the main talking point, and the fans’ excitement level of this hiring. He did discuss the city and team trying to host another NBA All-Star Weekend. Though the team didn’t earn the bid for 2017 or 2018, Martins showed confidence that 2019 and 2020 are certainly in play.
The timing would be ideal if the I-4 project and the Magic’s entertainment complex project across the street can be completed simultaneously to when/if the All-Star Weekend festivities return to O-Town.
The focus now shifts to the June 23rd NBA Draft, and the July free agency period.
Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.
It was discussed a bit in the latest episode of the Penny & Pops Podcast, but Dwight Howard may not be salvaged as far as acquiring sound logic goes. The 30-year-old former franchise center continued his offseason marketing campaign by partaking in a revealing interview with ESPN‘s Jackie MacMullen.
Plenty of topics were brought up. Not getting along with James Harden. Kobe Bryant dogging him. Wanting more touches. How he’ll have to make a decision on if he’ll opt out of his $23.2 million ’16-’17 player option (which he will if/when the Rockets hire Mike D’Antoni). I did enjoy the Clifford Ray reunion since he still shows up to Amway Center games sometimes. I’m obviously going to focus on the Magic items that were mentioned in the Dwight piece.
GM Rob Hennigan was already giving afternoon radio interviews, but the Orlando Magic on Friday officially announced that Frank Vogel is now the 13th Head Coach in franchise history.
The 42-year-old Vogel took over the Indiana Pacers in the middle of the 2010-2011 season for his first opportunity at the lead job. He got that squad into the playoffs that campaign, and he didn’t look back. Not until Larry Bird surprisingly chose not to offer Vogel another contract after the #7 seed Pacers lost their 7-game series meeting with the #2 seed Toronto Raptors.
Vogel’s tenure in Indiana is longer than any coach ever had in Orlando. Longer than Doc Rivers. Even Stan Van Gundy. Vogel finished with a 250-181 (.580) record with the Pacers. He led that team to 2 trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Miami Heat’s ‘big 3’ each time. Vogel has a solid 31-30 playoff record. That’s more postseason games than any Magic coach ever, and only Stan Van Gundy has as many victories (31-28). Vogel made 5 of the last 6 postseasons. The only one he missed was when Paul George was out that entire campaign due to that horrifying leg injury he suffered.
Orlando is in no doubt a better position now than they were with Scott Skiles at the helm. And to think, Skiles only departed a week ago. Listening and reading the quotes from Vogel, Hennigan, and Alex Martins is very uplifting from my viewpoint.
Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon knew that his life had changed after he and Zach LaVine put on probably the greatest dunk contest in All-Star Weekend history back in February up in Canada. #00 definitely should have won, but at least AG is continuing to see his public image soar. With that comes perks. Commercials, branding, and more.
Aaron had the chance to spend some time with the video game makers of NBA 2K17. The 20-year-old got to put on a motion capture suit. The sensors pick up AG’s body and its movements, and that data gets transferred into the 2K game. Aaron is one of the best athletes in the NBA currently, so he got to let loose with dunks and other basketball moves.
— NBA 2K 2K17 (@NBA2K) May 19, 2016
Lost in the craziness of the Orlando Magic finalizing their deal with Frank Vogel, the Orlando Pro Summer League will be back again this July. It will take place once more at the practice court inside Amway Center. The Magic will have two teams just like last summer – ‘Blue’, and ‘White’ – and the round robin style event will occur between July 2nd through the 8th. The event is closed to the public.
The 25-game, 7-day event will also have the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, and Oklahoma City Thunder participate. Each squad will play 5 games during the week.
On the final day of action, there will be a ‘championship day’. The Memphis Grizzlies – who are not attending this year – took down Orlando White last summer to claim the title. It’s always a fun event for those who do attend. Draft picks, players clawing to get into the league, and current young NBAers fighting to impress the many coaches, scouts, and front office individuals that are in attendance. The event is also occurring in the heat of free agency.
Below is the schedule, detailed rules, and points system.
The second episode of the Penny & Pops Podcast came about sooner than expected, mostly because the Orlando Magic were able to hire Frank Vogel as the team’s new Head Coach. This coming exactly 1 week after Scott Skiles walked away. We discuss how excited the fan base is with the acquisition of Vogel. We look at the other three names that were interviewed – Adrian Griffin, David Vanterpool, J.B. Bickerstaff – and speculate on whether Adrian Griffin will stay in Orlando as an assistant, or bolt elsewhere.
The Draft Lottery and my incorrect prediction get brought up. Should the Magic trade their #11 pick? Also, Dwight Howard found a way to force us to talk about him. I didn’t get the podcast microphone shipped to me by Amazon in time, so you get one more episode of some lovely laptop background noise. Thank you very much for your patience, and we appreciate you kind folks listening/subscribing to the podcast on the multiple platforms it can be found at.
Warning: Adult Language
Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.
It’s been a week since Scott Skiles notified the Orlando Magic that he was stepping down as Head Coach. The franchise has been moving at a respectable pace to find a replacement.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports The Vertical reports that the Magic met and interviewed Frank Vogel on Monday for their Head Coach position.
The Magic met with Frank Vogel on Monday, league sources tell @TheVertical. He’s a strong candidate for Orlando’s head coaching job.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) May 18, 2016
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports that current Magic lead assistant coach Adrian Griffin was interviewed by the team on Tuesday up in New York prior to the NBA Draft Lottery. Players and GMs certainly seem to respect Griffin:
In NBA.com’s 2014-15 GM Survey, general managers were asked to name the league’s best assistant coach. Griffin tied for second place in that poll, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tyronn Lue, the San Antonio Spurs’ Ettore Messina and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Mike Woodson.
That’s two confirmed candidates that the Magic have actually interviewed. Well, actually 3 now that Jason Quick of CSNNW reports that Portland assistant David Vanterpool also got an interview, but I’d say Griffin-Vogel are the more serious candidates for Head Coach. There may be more coming.
In many ways it was supposed to be anticlimactic. They only had a 0.8% chance of nabbing the #1 pick, 0.95% at #2, and 1.15% chance at the 3rd pick. But still, it was still disappointing for the Orlando Magic to see their 90.7% odds of getting the 11th pick in the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft come to fruition.
Pat Williams was in the behind-the-scenes room for the second straight year during the actual ping pong ball drawing. Magic GM Rob Hennigan was on the television stage for the first time as the basketball viewing audience got to find out that Dikembe Mutombo was correct hours earlier when he accidentally tweeted his congratulations on the Philadelphia Sixers winning the #1 pick.