RedEye

Orlando Magic need to be creative, different, choosing next coach, GM

It's time to be creative, Orlando Magic.

It's time to dare to be different.

It's time not to stick your hand in the recycle bin and spiff up somebody else's trash.

For too many years, too many times, this franchise has made some dubious choices in selecting its management team.

In many ways, Orlando's success has come in spite of its decisions, not because of them.

John Weisbrod, a hockey guy, as general manager. He was so beloved he once received written death threats after trading Tracy McGrady.

Doing a re-do with Brian Hill, complete with the "Welcome Back Kotter" soundtrack. That was a two-year bust.

Bringing an unmotivated Chuck Daly out of retirement, an odd choice and a waste of two seasons.

Hiring Billy Donovan, who lasted a couple of cups of coffee before he the caffeine buzz wore off and he resigned. That led them to Stan Van Gundy, who led Orlando to five postseason berths, but what if Billy Boy had stayed? Orlando simply lucked out with its second choice.

And GM Otis Smith made way too many bonehead moves in an attempt to take this team to the next level. Some of them are still wearing Magic uniforms.

Aggressive? Yes. Not very smart? That too.

"It's time for new leadership and a new voice," Magic CEO Alex Martins said.

Then be creative, aggressive and different.

That means ignoring the sentimental choice of Adonal Foyle as GM. Foyle is a great guy and respected by the organization and the NBA 's inner-circle, but he doesn't have enough experience to become a viable GM. So Just Say No.

David Morway, now in his 13th season with the Indiana Pacers — including his fourth as the team's general manager — is a much more inspired choice. The man knows who to put a solid basketball team together. Ask the Magic…and the Miami Heat.

The coaching search should be devoid of any of the usual suspects, too.

That means ignoring Mike D'Antoni, who is 61 and coached three NBA teams. That means saying 'no' to longtime Magic assistant Patrick Ewing, who has the feel of an incestuous pick. Ditto for Steve Clifford, who has been on Van Gundy's staff from the beginning.

Jerry Sloan? Nope he is a great coach but at 70 should stay happily retired.

Doc Rivers would be a re-do that would make sense, if only he didn't sign a five-year extension with the Celtics, so he's not coming.

The only old-school coach I try to recruit is Phil Jackson, and that's an extreme long shot. Phil is Zen-happy in retirement right now, and he doesn't like to walk into situations that aren't primed for a strong playoff run.

The Magic aren't there yet, and certainly will be in far worse shape if Dwight Howard rehabs just in time to ask to be traded again, presumably to Brooklyn and the Nets.

This is where the Magic could get served with a double burn-notice. They just dumped one of the best coaches in the NBA in hopes of keeping one of the best players in the NBA, and may end up losing both.

If I'm the Magic, I roll the dice with Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw. He's young enough (46) to relate to today's high-maintenance players, and frankly, he should be coaching the Los Angeles Lakers right now if their management team hadn't gone with the recycled choice in Mike Brown.

We see how well that's worked out.

If Howard leaves, too, the Magic are looking at yet another round of rebuilding.

It's better to sell disgruntled fans on fresh promises, rather than recycling somebody else's throwaways.

Time to be creative, aggressive and different.

Read George Diaz's blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/enfuego or e-mail him at gdiaz@orlandosentinel.com

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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