Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hill's Gone, What's Next?

I predicted long before Hill was fired that he would be gone, as it shows in the following post on Whit Watson’s blog on May 13, 2007:

“As for Brian Hill, I respectfully disagree. I am actually baffled as to how Mike Bianchi and other Sentinel writers cannot see the obvious shortcomings of Hill as a coach. I don't intend to state that long laundry list again. Hill has failed miserably to lead the Magic, and he can't blame anybody more than himself by being so pigheaded. It is time for Hill to go, and he will. And you know what is funny? I don't feel bad at all for the guy. He deserves it. In two stints with the Magic he brought a lot of turmoil and chaos upon the organization. Beneath his respectful appearance there is a hidden streak of selfishness of a little man who holds grudge and acts upon it when he gets a chance.”

The reasons for Hill's firing was more than what has been announced. The main reasons have been two fold:

1 – The Magic needed the public support for the new arena, which is an issue a lot larger than Hill’ fate, or anybody's for the matter, and it was obvious that the public is outraged by Hill’s ineptness.
2 – The Magic needed to create excitement and give the public newly generated hopes in order to keep, and even expand, their season’s ticket holders base and overall sales.

The Magic organization had no choice but to let Hill go. However, it is ridiculous that Otis Smith is taking credit for the decision. After all, this is the same guy who has been supporting Hill all along for one of the two reasons: 1) He in fact was in agreement with Hill’s decisions, especially with regard to not starting Darko or the guards’ rotations; 2) He did not have the authority to impose his views on Hill. In all honesty, I cannot rule any of the above-referenced scenarios out thus I will assume a middle ground by asserting that it probably was a combination of both. The question then becomes why Smith should claim the credit? My answer is because Bob Vander Weide did not want to be blamed for the responsibility of firing Hill for a second time.

Now let’s close the book on Hill and look forward to the future. I am in agreement with Whit Watson’s assertion in his latest article on his blog that Magic would be best served by a coach who is not of the old guard who brings a system with him to impose. The new coach should be a believer of a fast pace basketball but yet flexible enough to adjust based on the strengths of the Magic’s roster. I am intrigued by Billy Donovan's prospect, but I doubt that would happen. My preference would be Marc Iavaroni who has the resume and the background of working with some top notch coaches from all sides of the isles who can devise a system befitting this Magic team. He also on his resume has shares in development of some big men like Ilguskos and Stoudemire.

Magic should be cautious on their summer dealings. Any deal that results in loss of Darko is unacceptable. In order to bring in a proven shooter, Magic should open the bank with no fear of going slightly over the salary cap. While working on hiring the new coach, they should convince Grant to sign for the veteran's minimum since he would be an asset in any fast paced offense. They should also take a fresh look at Travis Diener through summer leagues and other venues. He looks a lot like Steve Nash, and given a chance, may develop into an asset. After all, Nash was not that kind of flashy player when he initially joined the league.


  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger Fred Marks said…

    www.KeepBillyDonovan.com for UF fans in favor of re-hiring the legend...

  • At 1:22 PM, Blogger tdawg said…

    Just to throw out another name, but how about Reggie Theus:

    - New Mexico State was very aggressive defensively, and offensively.

    - Former Magic player

  • At 2:21 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Tdawg, I think Reggie Theus will make a good NBA coach in the future. He is doing a nice job for New Mexico St, and would be a legit NBA coaching candidate in a season or two.

    However, I think Marc Iavaroni would be better suited for the Magic job at this point, because he has experience as an NBA assistant; working with big men; and knows how to run the style of offense the Magic want.

    Matt, I agree with just about everything in your post, but I'm not going to worry about whether Otis Smith is wrongfully taking credit for Brian Hill's firing; I'm just glad that it happened and the franchise can move forward!

  • At 2:54 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I have no problem with how Smith handled the situation. I've said it before; he's the type to throw up "smoke screens".

    As for it being his call; by the end of the season and listening to Brian Hill's comments, you could tell he wasn't on the same page as Otis.

    Regardless, I don't think Otis was trying to come out and take credit, he was asked, and he pretty much said in the end it was his decision.

    But Matt brings up an interesting point; that is was stated the way it was so Vander Weide and the Magic organization doesn't have to take credit for firing Brian Hill twice.

    But as everyone has agreed on, who cares, Brian Hill is no more, and that's what really matters!

    SA Express-News reported the Magic have contacted the Spurs to speak with assistant P.J. Carlesimo.

    Dennis Scott also contacted the Magic…

    I'm starting to find this amusing how many people are actually coming out and expressing interest. But I guess that's a good thing, it says something about the position this organization is in and how good things could be here in the near future.

  • At 12:09 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Otis Smith's role does matter because we don't know when we we are gonna put more stock on the guy than he deserves and get disappointed? He might just have been a loyal corporate guy doing the work that his boss was not willing to do, which is just fine but not as authoritative that he claims to be. Remember that students of history always learn something from any situation for the purpose of not repeating mistakes.

  • At 11:00 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Yeah intro i agree,i could care less about who played what parts in the bsh firing,if otis wants the credit as far as i'm concerned he can have it because it just puts him in the hot seat. Now if the team isnt any good he'll be to blame,but i suspect that isnt going to be the case,if otis can land a good coach i think this franchise will take off.

  • At 11:06 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Magic owner Rich DeVos sold America on soap-on-a-rope and other products to become a billionaire through the Amway empire.

    His basketball team now needs to pull off its second-biggest selling job of the offseason: Persuading Marc Iavaroni to replace Brian Hill. (Their biggest sell-job is signing a star free agent).

    We are going on the assumption that Iavaroni is their top choice --- and all signs point this way so far.

    You probably don't begin at the bottom of your short list, although what clouds the picture is that Spurs assistant coach P.J. Carelismo is still in the playoffs. He could be a candidate and the Magic might be waiting on him.

    I get the sense Billy Donovan is no longer in play for the Magic, or they couldn't take a chance on a college coach. Iavaroni has never held an NBA head coaching job, either, but at least he's been around the league for 25 years.

    While he has some impressive chops --- coached with Pat Riley and Mike Fratello, played for Jerry Sloan and helped mold Suns forward Amare Stoudemire into a star --- Iavaroni also carries rookie risk.

    Along with the fact that he worked as a big man's coach and could help Dwight Howard, here's the key thing: Iavaroni has been exposed to an uptempo style the Magic want to play --- and one they couldn't ever see materializing with Hill in charge.

    Iavaroni has coached with Suns Coach Mike D'Antoni, and also played with D'Antoni overseas. He knows offense, offering a cerebral approach.

    Word is that the Griz' job is Iavaroni's to lose. The Seattle Supersonics apparently are coming hard on the outside for Iavaroni, too --- and they should worry both teams.

    The Grizzlies got the jump of the Magic, of course, who fiddling around with the Brian Hill firing while the Griz interviewed Iavaroni, lead assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns.

    Could explain why the Magic reportedly had to make up ground and hurried to ask permission from the Suns to talk to him.

    So here's the pros and cons for Iavaroni to consider with each job:


    Pros: Dwight Howard, obviously. Griz and Sonics can't compete here in the big man department. And if the Magic can keep Darko Milicic, Coach-a-roni (Marc-a-roni?) won't find two better young bigs to mold.

    Trevor Ariza can run, and Grant Hill still has something left at 35 if he returns. The biggest key will be landing a free agent that Iavaroni feels can be the glue to make it all work and turn them into a posteason threat.

    Iavaroni would have $10-$13 million cap room, would be in the accomodating Eastern Conference and would pay no state tax. Plus, the sun shines just as much here as in Phoenix.

    Cons: After Howard, however, the Magic roster gets a little dicey. Iavaroni will find that Jameer Nelson is not Steve Nash, although maybe the Magic never played at a fast enough pace to see if Meer Meer could be all he could be, meaning a reincarnation of his St. Joe self.


    Pros: The Griz have Paul Gasol, Mike Miller and Rudy Gay. Not a bad nucleus. Those are the kinds of players who have the sort of offensive potential that could suit Iavaroni.

    Memphis wouldn't have had such a down year had Gasol not missed games early after injuring himself the previous summer playing in the World Championships.

    Interim coach Tony Barone Sr. replaced Mike Fratello, and immediately changed Fratello's deliberate, defense-first style. The Griz tried to play like the Suns. They scored a lot of points but gave up a lot.

    Coach-a-roni won't find better barbeque and blues.

    Cons: Unfortunately, for Iavaroni, GM Jerry West retired. That means Memphis would have to try to match-make a GM to Iavaroni.

    The Griz could have practically named their coach if they had won the lottery and could pick either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, but they missed out.

    Biggest problem for Iavaroni in Memphis: It's in the South, but plays in the dreaded West.


    Pros: They have two stars and a potential star that neither the Magic nor the Griz can touch.

    Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Durant offer an attractive package for Iavaroni, a man who adores offense. Durant has created a Tracy McGrady-like buzz.

    Cons: The Sonics have a serious arena issue, and are wondering if Oklahoma City has a room at the inn. One coach told me this is particularly distracting and unsettling, especially if you have a young family.

    On the floor, the Sonics might lose Lewis, who will be a free agent. Durant's arrival might lead to his exodus. This past season, the Sonics also seemed to have chemistry problems under Bob Hill.

    They have no real big-man threat, unless young Robert Swift develops.

    Oh, yes, and another large issue: Seattle, last time we checked, is in the West.

    Inside track for Marc-a-roni? Magic

  • At 10:55 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, if you are quoting from a source, please cite the source.

  • At 12:04 AM, Blogger Black and Blue said…

    Great reading your blog on the Magic. I made a humorous Magic Blog myself: http://blackandbluemagic.blogspot.com/

    Thanks and hope to see ya on the comments section!

  • At 2:49 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Big Figure's source was the latest posting from Brian Schmitz on Schmitz's basketball blog from the online Sentinel.

    Looking at all the pros and cons of SEA, MEM, and the Magic that Marc Iavaroni might take into consideration when he is deciding which team he should coach, I agree with Schmitz, the Magic seem to have the inside track.

    I would hope that money won't be an issue here; that the Magic would give Iavaroni a decent salary and not be outbid by either MEM or SEA.

    If for some reason they can't hire Iavaroni, I hope they stay away from PJ Carlesimo and Bob Hill.

    Billy Donovan is also intriguing, but I think he is more inclined to stay with the Gators.

    Bottom line... I hope things work out with Iavaroni.

  • At 10:55 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Thanks mike for clearing that up,sorry guys. In no way was i trying to take credit for that last post,as mike stated it came from schmitz's basketblog. I agree with mike and i hope ivaroni is our next coach,but if he chooses to coach elsewhere,i just hope we hire someone with a plan that isnt a recycled coach.


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