Orlando needs change
Define regret. If they think the moves alone will appease Dwight Howard enough for him to sign a long-term extension, Orlando management might regret the moves. Because you never know what that Howard guy is thinking. If you made the moves to get new voices and leadership, then fine.
Look, Van Gundy is a very good coach. But it's not like other good coaches aren't out there. And it's also not like Van Gundy doesn't wear on players after a while. But sometimes change can be good.
With Howard — even with his drama — this is a solid job. Without? Not so much. Management will have to make sure it hires somebody who has chance to reach Howard and be a solid coach if Howard leaves. Good luck.
Not if Howard returns
Shannon J. Owens
I don't think Magic executives are built for regret. Most executives or leaders aren't.
They make decisions, good or bad, and move forward. Given the tenuous relationship between Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy, Magic management had to make a move. It makes sense they would choose to cut ties with Van Gundy after the coach outed Howard and top management regarding his future a few months ago.
It also makes sense why the Magic wouldn't fight to keep general manager Otis Smith after a slew of unsuccessful player transactions.
If losing Van Gundy gave the Magic any real chance at keeping Howard, then it's a decision I'm sure they'll have no problem sleeping on.
It's all about Howard
The regret only will come if Dwight Howard is not in a Magic uniform on opening night next season.
If Howard is dealt, then it seems farcical that a team would not only deal away its star attraction, but cast aside two men who could help develop the next star attraction.
The Magic first should have gone to Howard, discreetly, and issued an ultimatum: If you stay, who do you want as coach and general manager? If the answer was suitable, then bye-bye, Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith.
Instead, the Magic essentially are recasting themselves as an expansion team, as if it's 1989 all over again in Central Florida.
A gutless decision
Los Angeles Times
Orlando's management has a hilarious history of mis-hires and mis-fires (Chuck Daly? Billy Donovan?), but the move to sweep aside both Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith should be filed under gutless.
They will regret it, too, when Dwight Howard, who's the puppeteer behind these sackings and has the Magic obeying his every whim, ditches Orlando for Brooklyn or Los Angeles or elsewhere.
But with both Van Gundy and Smith gone and Howard likely soon to follow, Orlando's management soon will start from scratch. You don't need hindsight to see that mistakes were made, are being made, and will continue to be made. That's what this organization does best.