The NBA coaching scene received another stunner Thursday morning when Orlando's Scott Skiles announced his resignation from the Magic after one season.
The 35-47 record was both expected and disappointing for an Orlando team loaded with interesting young talent yet unable to make a true playoff push. The Magic won 10 more games under Skiles compared to the previous year finished in the Southeast division behind the Heat, Hornets and Wizards. The press release issued by the team indicate no friction between the coach and GM Rob Hennigan.
“After much thought and careful consideration, I and I alone, have come to the conclusion that I am not the right head coach for this team,” said Skiles. “Therefore, effective immediately, I resign my position as head coach of the Orlando Magic. I realize this type of decision can cause much speculation. The reality though is in the first sentence. It is simple and true. Any other rumors are pure conjecture.”
“I sincerely apologize for any unintended consequences that may adversely affect anyone associated with this decision,” Skiles continued. “The Magic are a world-class organization that employs world-class people. I wish them nothing but great success. I will always be thankful, especially to the DeVos family, for the opportunity.”
“While we understand it was a challenging season, we reluctantly have accepted Scott’s (Skiles) resignation,” said Hennigan. “We appreciate Scott instilling a culture of accountability and certainly wish him and his family well.”
Skiles, 52, became the 12th head coach in Orlando Magic history on May 29, 2015. It was also his fourth NBA head coaching job. This one started nicely as the Magic went 9-6 during November, marking their first winning month since March 2012. In December, Orlando had an Eastern Conference-best 10-5 record, leading to Skiles being named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for December 2015.
The losses began mounting from there. Orlando shipped forward Tobias Harris to the Detroit Pistons in an apparent salary dump before the league's trade deadline.
Orlando now joins Indiana, Houston and the New York Knicks as teams without a head coach. That means there will be six new coaches just since the Wizards signed Scott Brooks to a five-year deal on April 26. The Los Angeles Lakers then added Luke Walton and Sacramento signed Dave Joerger.