Magic to fire Jacque Vaughn?

ByChris Broussard ESPN logo
Friday, January 30, 2015

The Orlando Magic are on the verge of firing head coach Jacque Vaughn, according to league sources.

After the Magic lost their seventh straight game Thursday night to fall to 15-34, one source close to the situation said the team's management has decided it will relieve Vaughn of his duties. The only question, according to the source, was how soon.

One source said Vaughn will not be fired Friday and that he will likely coach at least the Magic's next three games against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

After those three games, all probable losses, the Magic's schedule lightens considerably, with four of their next six opponents being non-playoff teams. That's a much more favorable situation in which to bring a new coach.

Vaughn said Friday morning before practice that talk about his tenuous job security has put him in a "day by day" mindset and that he is blocking everything out, like the boos he heard after Thursday's loss.

"Day by day," Vaughn told reporters in Orlando when asked about his approach to the remainder of the season. "That's what I do, I've always done. I do my job the best I can that day. I went home, I watched film -- nothing changed. I got up this morning, met with my group, ready for practice and ready for a game." He added, "I don't abide by the tyranny of other people's attitudes and moods. I'm ready to rock and roll."

Vaughn, 39, is in his third year as Orlando's coach. A former Spursassistant coach under Gregg Popovich, Vaughn was hired to guide the Magic in their post-Dwight Howard era.

With the club essentially starting over, Orlando was patient with Vaughn while the Magic went 43-121 over his first two seasons. But as the club has improved its roster this season, the results have gotten only slightly better, and it appears that Vaughn's days are numbered.

It is likely the Magic will promote one of their assistant coaches to interim head coach, but several league executives have speculated that former Magic player Scott Skiles could be a front-runner for the job. Skiles played five of his 10 NBA seasons with the Magic, enjoying the best years of his career there.

Skiles has 13 years of head-coaching experience, leading the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks to a combined record of 443-433.

The Orlando Sentinel first reported Thursday night that Magic officials would not guarantee that Vaughn will finish the season.

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