22nd of May 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
The Orlando Magic had a busy Monday with the dismissal of Coach Stan Van Gundy and the split with general manager Otis Smith.
"It's time for new leadership and new voices," Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a statement. "The disappointment of getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs these past two seasons played a primary role in our decision, as we feel our momentum towards winning a championship has paused."
Smith and Van Gundy's turbulent relationship with Dwight Howard took its toll on the team this season after the All-Star center requested a trade.
The team went 37-29 during the regular season; however it wasn't enough to keep them going. The team was forced to play late season without Howard due to his time off for surgery to treat his back injury. It was during this time that Orlando suffered elimination by Indiana within five games.
According to Van Gundy, he was made aware of a condition included in Howard's future contract negotiations. Van Gundy claims that team officials told him of Howard's request to have him fired before he would consider a long term contract with Orlando which Howard denies.
Van Gundy served as the Orlando Magic's coach for five seasons. His reign ended with a 259-135 record, going 31-28 in the playoffs.
Smith was on board for six years and had a significant hand in the Magic teams that breezed through to the playoffs, winning the 2009 Eastern Conference.
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