Skiles steps down as Magic head coach

Scott Skiles has resigned as Orlando Magic head coach after just one season, a decision that has come as something of a surprise.

The reason for Skiles decision is believed to be the result of philosophical differences with the franchise and the 52-year-old’s unhappiness that the franchise did not pick up an option year in his contract.

Skiles joined the Magic in May last year and his contract was due to last until the end of the 2017/18 season, but after a tough campaign in which the Magic amassed a 35-47 record, he appears to have had enough.

“After much thought and careful consideration, I and I alone, have come to the conclusion that I am not the right head coach for this team,” Skiles said in a statement released by the Magic. “Therefore, effective immediately, I resign my position as head coach of the Orlando Magic. I realize this type of decision can cause much speculation. The reality though is in the first sentence. It is simple and true. Any other rumors are pure conjecture.

“I sincerely apologize for any unintended consequences that may adversely affect anyone associated with this decision. The Magic are a world-class organization that employs world-class people. I wish them nothing but great success. I will always be thankful, especially to the DeVos family, for the opportunity.”

Magic general manager Rob Hennigan admitted that no one involved with the franchise saw the move coming and said the search for Skiles’ replacement will begin immediately.

“This is certainly a challenging day for us, an unexpected day,” Hennigan told reporters on Thursday. “I think that when Scott and I first met a year ago we had some great dialogue. We talked about basketball philosophy, basketball character and the things we look for in players.

“Quite honestly, that dialogue continued throughout the course of the season. So with the news we received from Scott (on Wednesday), we were very surprised by it, took as aback a little bit.

“He felt like it was the right thing to do for him and his family.”