The news of the day has been that GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy are out of their jobs with the Magic. We're keeping an eye on the moving pieces in the wake of the team's announcement, but there's also been a fair bit of criticism of the team, particularly over its firing of Van Gundy. Here's what NBA observers are saying:
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel takes Magic CEO Alex Martins to task for informing Van Gundy of his firing via cell phone.
- Fellow Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi said the future of the franchise is up to Dwight Howard, now that the team has seemingly bent to his will.
- Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today provides a dissenting voice, arguing that the time had come for the team to move on from Van Gundy and Smith. He also thinks the franchise might be better off moving on from Howard, too.
- Ken Berger of CBSSports.com predicts that in six months, Howard will be gone, the Magic will have a coach inferior to Van Gundy, and the franchise will be starting over.
- Zach Lowe of SI.com says the Magic just broke up a rare partnership of superstar player and elite coach.
- Shannon J. Owens of the Orlando Sentinel follows along that same line, wishing the drama-filled relationship between Howard and Van Gundy had been more like the placid, successful partnership of Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich of the Spurs.
- As we noted earlier, George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel wants to see the Magic make bold hires when they replace Smith and Van Gundy.