Hill's Gone, What's Next?
“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.