Scott Skiles Rumors

No Orlando Magic player has been named to an NBA All-Defensive team since the 2011-12 season. But Victor Oladipo would have a chance this season if voters share Scott Skiles’ perspective. “In my opinion,” Skiles said before the Magic’s 97-84 loss Monday night to the Indiana Pacers, “he’s playing at an all-league defensive-type level right now because he’s guarding different guys and within our system; not only one-on-one is he very good. His defensive rebounding as well [is very good]. He’s in the right spot in our system. He’s one of our best stunt players at stunting opponents and recovering. He stays in plays and doesn’t give up. He challenges shots.”
Skiles, now 51 years old, isn’t sentimental by nature, but even he acknowledges that he occasionally thinks back to that title run with his friends. “For better or worse, you’re playing for your school and your family and all that, but you’re playing for each other,” Skiles said. “Even back then, even though I was much younger, much more immature, that still resonated with me on that day: that I’m going on to play and these other guys I grew up with probably aren’t.”
Edison, who was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005, coached Skiles for four years in high school. “By his own admission, he didn’t have the speed,” Edison said. “He wasn’t a great leaper, a great jumper or anything like that. He didn’t have great flexibility. He didn’t have athleticism. “But he did have that hand-eye coordination that you could see early on. That, along with moxie — the savvy, the court awareness, the basketball IQ. He just was aware of things around him.”
The Magic’s tendency to chirp at referees might be reduced by the arrival of a new coach, Scott Skiles. “I don’t mind the players if they feel like a call should’ve gone differently or something of voicing that complaint, but voice it during a dead ball,” Skiles said when asked about his philosophy about players talking to referees. “I think sometimes there is an element with the young guys coming through the AAU system and everything where they just have to realize the officials are not out there to help them. They’re out there to referee the game. So it can’t be, ‘Help me! Help me! Help me!’ They’re refereeing the game. The earlier you could understand that, the better you are.”
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.”