Storyline: Magic Coaching Job

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The only people who understand the highs and lows that NBA players go through and the grind of an 82-game regular season, Orlando Magic veteran center Marreese Speights said, is someone who actually played the game at the highest level themselves. “You want to play for a guy who has already played the game,’’ Speights said last week at the conclusion of the Magic’s season. “When you look at a Steve Kerr, Lionel Hollins or Mark Jackson, you want to play for them because they have been in the trenches and they’ve done the same stuff that you are doing (as a current player). They know the game a little bit more because they have been in your shoes.’’

Like the veteran Speights, Magic guard Arron Afflalo has played for all types of coaches over his 11 years in the NBA. Six of his 10 former coaches – Michael Curry, Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis, Karl and Vaughn – played in the NBA prior to going into coaching. Afflalo said the essence of the player/coach relationship depends far more on relatability than whether or not a mentor once played NBA basketball. “It’s more of a communication thing,’’ Afflalo stressed. “Sometimes former players relate to other players and sometimes guys who didn’t play in the NBA are just really great communicators and motivators. They know the game and know how to teach the game. So, I can’t stand here and say for a fact that a former player would be better, but communication and accountability will always be the key with any coach.’’
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April 21, 2018 | 10:03 pm EDT Update