Scott Skiles Rumors
“I was surprised, like everyone else,” Vucevic told the Orlando Sentinel during a phone interview. “I don’t think anybody expected it to happen, but it was his decision. You just have to accept it and move on. It’s tough because I thought Coach was really doing something good for us. We were heading in the right direction. We finished up the season the right way. We had some good wins at the end. We were playing much better. He established a good foundation for the future. So it would’ve been good for us to kind of keep going with him, because he’s a good coach and also it’s important to have a certain continuity.”
He and Skiles appeared to have a good relationship. Vucevic said he played the best basketball of his career after he and Skiles had a one-on-one meeting early in the season. “He really helped us improve, and he helped me personally a lot,” Vucevic said. “We talked a lot throughout the year, and one thing I really liked about him was we’d have open conversations where you can tell him whatever you feel like, and he tells you. He doesn’t hold grudges or anything. He tells you. You move on. . . .
The Magic knew, of course, that Skiles had been unhappy and that Skiles and Hennigan had clashed at times throughout Skiles’ lone season coaching the team. But team officials thought an off-site retreat in late April that included Martins, Hennigan and Skiles — with Martins essentially serving as the mediator — had smoothed over any differences. They were wrong.
The club didn’t have to worry about Jacque Vaughn — a rookie coach who was grateful for the chance — to challenge the workings of Hennigan’s rebuild. Skiles is no wallflower and — right or wrong — he has his own ideas about how things should operate. This stuff happens in sports. Philosophies, personalities and egos clash, particularly when the ship lists under the weight of losing.
Skiles’ prints are gone, permanently, the result of his abrupt resignation on Thursday. Immediately, questions surfaced about a possible power struggle with general manager Rob Hennigan. Skiles wasn’t enamored with some of Orlando’s young talent, in particular point guard Elfrid Payton, league sources told The Vertical. More broadly, Skiles had grown increasingly disenchanted with the attitudes of the modern NBA player, league sources said, with one describing Skiles in the final months of the season as “miserable.”