Tuck: Magic’s Methodical Coaching Search

Long.  Unorthodox.  Unusual.  Surprising.  GM Rob Hennigan, noted for his patience and deliberate style, has operated in a manner that has to be driving others nuts.  In fact, he might be driving the fans and media bananas while he is at it.

The Magic interviewed and were approached with the idea of many experienced, more famous, more qualified general managers, but opted for the 30 year old.  Now, in a coaching search that has included Hall of Fame names like Jerry Sloan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and then the top assistants we all knew about like Brian Shaw and Michael Malone, has now advanced to a bunch of unsuspecting and hardly discussed candidates.

Lindsey Hunter appears to be a finalist.  I was told by a source at the Orlando Pro Summer League, before the elimination of summer of the bigger names, was the favorite to land the job.  Perhaps he’ll be right.  Favoring Hunter over Shaw, Malone, and Nate McMillan was either bold or knowledgeable.  It appears like the latter now.

Michael Curry appears to be a finalist.  Scott Perry, who Hennigan hired away from the Pistons, is an assistant to the GM, and no doubt he influence on his ties to Hunter and Curry.

Jacque Vaughn appears to be another finalist.  Vaughn was a player with the Spurs when Hennigan worked in their front office.  Vaughn has been an assistant in San Antonio the last couple of years.

I was told by another source last week that the head coaching search was likely to go on for another “2-3 weeks.”

Based on what we’ve seen out of Hennigan so far, that wouldn’t really be a surprise.  He moves slow.  Cautiously.  Methodical.  Calculated.  Leaving no rock unturned.  It also wouldn’t be a surprise if another candidate emerged based on his pattern of operation.

I am sure I speak for many Magic fans, media members, and other general managers when I say it would be nice if he just pulled the trigger already!  Hire a coach.  Trade Dwight Howard.  Move forward.

I am more than willing as a neutral observer to watch it all play out before passing any kind of judgement on his ability.  I will judge moves as they come along.  Like the decision on Ryan Anderson or my thoughts on Jameer Nelson’s resigning.  There is certainly a lot of pressure on Hennigan to get these next two moves right.

The longer things take however it opens up Hennigan to criticism that he is indecisive or doesn’t have the experience necessary to execute moves in a timely manner.  I was told by a source at the summer league that he thought the Magic made a mistake hiring a GM with no experience and then asking him to deal away a franchise player.  He said if they had hired an experienced GM the Magic would have a coach and Dwight Howard would have been traded already.  Of course, that is his opinion, but I imagine others around the league might feel the same way.

While I don’t think there is a rush, a rush to judgement is always alive and well in our microwave society.