ORLANDO, Fla. — For months the Orlando Magic have been trudging through the aftermath of a preseason trade request by Dwight Howard that sapped the life out of the franchise as internal team issues quickly affected the product on the floor.
Now after easily one of the most tumultuous seasons in their history, they made the first in what promises to be a huge offseason shake-up
The Magic fired coach Stan Van Gundy on Monday and agreed to part ways with general manager Otis Smith, severing ties with two of the architects of one of the most successful runs in franchise history.
Smith and Van Gundy's relationship with Howard was the centerpiece of drama the team faced all season and following their second straight first-round playoff exit, CEO Alex Martins said the shift was warranted.
"It's time for a new leadership and a new approach," Martins said at a news conference to discuss the moves. "We simply came to the decision that we were not on the right track,"Comment on this story
Martins wouldn't go into many specifics about what he is looking for in replacements, saying only that he and ownership want to fill the general manager post by June's NBA draft.
He said he would sit down with ownership on Tuesday to begin ironing out the details of both searches.
Phone and text messages left with Van Gundy and Smith by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.
Orlando went 37-29 in the regular season but was eliminated in five games by Indiana after a rash of late-season injuries that included back surgery for Howard. Orlando went 5-12 without him.
Martins said those consecutive first-round playoff exits were "simply not good enough."