Scott Skiles Rumors
The Magic lost 106-100 and allowed the Hornets to make 45.3 percent of their shot attempts. “It’s an interesting thing,” Skiles said. “We just got beat. Our main players didn’t play very much in the second half, and God bless our fans, they’re lining up in the tunnel down there [near our locker room] cheering for us and everybody’s back there shaking our guys’ hands and everything. At some point, we have to get past that everything is OK. We did not start the second half with any sort of energy whatsoever; [the Hornets] did. And that is not OK. If you want to win, that’s not OK. We need to understand that.”
“They were either 7 years old back then or they are really old now,’’ Skiles, 51, said with a chuckle. “I’m not trying to sound like I’m not excited about coaching the team, but I’ve played in a lot of games and coached in a lot of games. “It is my first game with this team, so I’m just looking forward to getting into a game with them,’’ Skiles continued. “Then, we’ll get into a regular timeout or a guy will get upset about a call and get a technical – things that you can’t simulate in practice – and it will be good to go through that with the guys.’’
“We really wanted to find a coach who embodies the type of culture and identity that we’re trying to build here in Orlando,” said Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan. “We feel that [his] toughness, humility and attention to detail personifies the types of values that will help define our program. We were just really impressed throughout the interview process with his presence and his intellect and his passion for preparation.”
After getting to know the players better and analyzing their skills do you see the pieces in place to have a winning season in your first year as the Magic’s head coach? Scott Skiles: “Yes, I do. My full intention is that when this regular season is over we will have a winning record.’’
Scott Skiles: “We’re going to get better defensively and there is no option there. We’re going to be a much-improved defensive team. How good we are right now, I don’t know that, but I know we’re going to be much-improved on defense. And the guys here are willing.
Elie knows all about out-of-the-way. He played in Ireland, Argentina and Portugal, not to mention the minor league backwoods of the USBL (Miami Tropics) and CBA (Albany Patroons) before he ever got a sniff at the NBA. So to be back on the sidelines barking out orders as summer league coach and member of Scott Skiles’ new staff with the Magic feels better than silk sheets. “You can’t possibly know how much I missed it,” said the 11-year veteran swingman who earned three championship rings during his playing career. “I’ve been doing this all my life. I can’t be a lawyer or a doctor. Basketball is in my blood. I love everything about the game. I played overseas. I played in all the farm leagues. And I made it to the NBA. I appreciate it. That’s why when I took the floor in the NBA I didn’t take it for granted. I played hard every night.”
“It’s been hard,” Elie said. “I drive my wife crazy. Instead of watching the kids and helping them with homework, I’m watching basketball all day. Dissecting the game, watching my buddies play on TV, wishing I was out there. “But family comes first. I was on the road my first nine years coaching and not being around my kids. It’s been fantastic taking my kids to school, being psycho-sports Dad yelling at the coach on the sidelines. ‘Get my son the ball!’ My daughter at her volleyball games. It’s been fantastic. It was just fun being a dad.