INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 08: Jameer Nelson #14 of the Orlando Magic looks on late in the game while playing the Indiana Pacers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2012 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
2 Total Updates since July 29, 2012
10 months ago Update 0 comments
There were many NBA fans who were curious about the fact that Jacque Vaughn was even a finalist for the Orlando Magic head coaching gig in the first place. After all, the former Kansas Jayhawks great only has two years of experience on the bench for the San Antonio Spurs after a long NBA playing career. Yet when the Magic made it official, Vaughn's youth became both his prime asset and his biggest question mark.
Vaughn was announced as the Magic's new head coach by the team's new general manager Rob Hennigan, formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the two come from great stock as both the Spurs and Thunder are among the elite teams in the NBA. However the inexperience of Vaughn was not enough to deter Hennigan and Vaughn recently took those thoughts head-on.
"Would my resume look a little nicer if it said 14 years of experience? Maybe so," Vaughn said. "But I've sat in the seats that the guy I will coach have sat in. I'll be able to relate to their personal, physical, mental stresses that they come across everyday because I've been there. I think they'll relate to that and they'll appreciate that, and they'll know that I'm fighting for them and I believe in them."
As for who Vaughn will be coaching is another item entirely. Dwight Howard trade rumors continue to haunt the team, so until that's settled, it's impossible for Vaughn and his staff to fully settle into the role. Hennigan was soft when asked about the roster.
"One thing we'll tell our fans is that we'll continue look at all options to try and improve this team," he said. "And we'll continue to build piece by piece (and) brick by brick into something that is sustainable. At the end of the day it's about putting a group of guys on the floor that want to be coached by Jacque, who want to be led by Jacque and represent the values and attributes that our fan base can really rally around."
10 months ago Update 0 comments
As the new general manager of the Orlando Magic, Rob Hennigan has his work cut out for him. In fact, hiring a head coach seems to be the least of his worries in his first few months on the job after having to handle an entire NBA Draft on the fly while dealing with the Dwight Howard fiasco played out in the media day after day. However, Hennigan finally found his man in former Kansas Jayhawks star Jacque Vaughn.
Vaughn enjoyed a long career in the NBA from 1997 until 2009, playing for the Magic for one full season in 2002-03. Vaughn retired as a player from the San Antonio Spurs in '09 and then joined the team as an assistant coach thereafter. His ascension to head coach is a short one, showing just how smart he was as a player and how strong the coaching tree from the Spurs has become.
"Throughout the process we wanted to find someone who embodied the type of culture that we're trying to build here. Jacque's presence, his intelligence level, his commitment to preparation and being detail-oriented in everything that he does impressed us,'' Hennigan said. "He's committed to player development and I think his communication style is one that will work well with our players.
Vaughn is certainly young enough to connect on a different level than other coaches, and it will be interesting to see how Vaughn responds when things become tough. The Magic, after all, will continue to deal with the frustration of having Howard trade talks persist. Perhaps they have just the man who can handle it in Vaughn.