Jacque Vaughn has been around successful programs as a player and coach for a long time. But that hardly means he’ll be able to turn around the Orlando Magic, who went from a perennial playoff team to the worst squad in the NBA this season.
Vaughn spent two seasons as assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, and he was a member of the 2006-07 NBA title team as a player. The Spurs were 111-37 while he was coach.
But as has been proven in the past, an assistant with a franchise having success isn’t automatically going to go to a team that’s collapsing and have an equal amount of goodwill.
When Vaughn came to the Magic, he did not necessarily assume he was going to have it easy, especially with Dwight Howard going to the Los Angeles Lakers. But the attitude was that there was enough talent to perhaps remain a playoff team.
After a 12-13 start, Vaughn seemed to have some potential to work with, but then everything collapsed and the Magic went off to a 20-62 season. Now the owners say it’s time for a youth movement, but Vaughn was not hired for a youth movement.
He was hired, from a team with a lot of success in the past, to carry that over to a different franchise. It didn’t quite work. Now, the question is if the Magic think Vaughn can take young players and turn them into a winner. He hasn’t really done that in the past, and it’s hard to say if he’ll be able to do it in the future.