The Magic reportedly has turned its focus to former Miami coach Stan Van Gundy. He was impacted too. Van Gundy had talked to Magic officials before Donovan’s hiring, but he was meeting with the ownership of the Sacramento Kings on Saturday when the Orlando job started to reopen.
Donovan was too far into the transition to turn back. News broke Thursday that he was moving, and the Magic reported the sale of 200 season tickets by Friday afternoon. You can be sure Donovan didn’t give any thought to the public relations nightmare that would create for the NBA franchise.
Perhaps those attorneys hired by the Magic will find a way to remind Donovan of the expense dished out by all those fans.
We all know Donovan isn’t the first coach to experience a change of heart. Bobby Cremins accepted an offer from South Carolina in 1993 and then returned to Georgia Tech two days later. More recently, Rick Majerus took over at Southern California and then quit a week later. Gregg Marshall was headed to Charleston one day and returned to Winthrop the next. And just a few weeks ago, Dana Altman was introduced as the new coach at Arkansas, only to return to Creighton two days later.
But this is Billy Donovan. As a player at Providence College, and throughout his coaching career, Donovan has exuded confidence in everything he has done. It was hard to understand why he would risk failure in the NBA after building such a strong program at Florida. His legacy with the Gators was already secure.
The last few days make no sense. When the legal mess is settled, perhaps Donovan can explain it all to us.
Less than two months later, Brown was hired to coach the San Antonio Spurs.
So stay tuned. We no longer know what to think or believe about Billy Donovan. The only thing for sure is that college basketball has a new Waffle King.
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