With the NBA Playoffs on the cusp of reaching its final stages, the Orlando Magic are still without a bench boss after firing Frank Vogel several weeks ago when the 2017-2018 season concludes. As many teams are starting to find their head coaches, with the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks having recently named their hires, respectively, Orlando has been linked to three names so far. We take a closer look at the some of the candidates that have been named in Orlando’s coaching search to date.
Kelvin Sampson, University of Houston: In what would seem like a surprising hire to most throughout the National Basketball Association, many executives said that University of Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson has emerged as the favorite to replace Vogel in Orlando. Sampson is 83-48 at Houston and is coming off an impressive 27-8 season.
Steve Clifford, unemployed: Clifford has interviewed for the head coaching position in Orlando and could be a perfect fit for a Magic team looking to compete immediately. In Charlotte, Clifford led the young Hornets squad to two postseason appearances before being ousted. Clifford was an assistant under Stan Van Gundy in Orlando when they went to the NBA Finals in 2009.
Stan Van Gundy, unemployed: Wouldn’t this be a dream? After being fired as team president/head coach of the Detroit Pistons, Van Gundy is once again available and many posed the question what about a reunion? Van Gundy guided the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals back in 2009, and though interest hasn’t been mutual, it would be interesting to see if both sides came together.
Tom Izzo, Michigan State University: Controversy is swirling around Michigan State after the findings in the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal and Izzo may be looking for a way out. The 65-year old is coming off a 30-5 with the Spartans and though he’s reportedly not on the radar for Orlando, can’t rule him out until a hire is finally made by the Magic.