[Breaking News]

Orlando, Fla. –

The Orlando Magic have fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and has decided to part ways with general manager Otis Smith.

Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins of the Orlando Magic quoted as saying, “The disappointment of getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs these past two seasons played a primary role in our decision.”

Martins said a short time ago that he expects to have a new coach in place by the end of June when the NBA draft begins.

Squashing rumors, Martins also said Dwight Howard never asked him to fire Stan Van Gundy, and that Howard “needs to decide where his future lies.”

PRESS RELEASE

The Orlando Magic have issued a press released that reads as follows:

Orlando Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins announced today that Stan Van Gundy had been relieved of his duties as head coach. Also, President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Otis Smith and the organization have mutually agreed to part ways.

“On behalf of the DeVos Family, we sincerely appreciate and thank Otis and Stan for all that they have done on and off the floor for the Orlando Magic,” said Martins. “These are the days you dread in this business, but we feel it’s time for new leadership and new voices.

“They both brought die-hard dedication and an unmatched work ethic on a daily basis,” added Martins. “Their success is documented, as the Orlando Magic has had the fourth best record in the NBA over the last five years, and entering the playoffs this year the third most playoff wins over that period. The disappointment of getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs these past two seasons played a primary role in our decision, as we feel our momentum towards winning a championship has paused. We wish Otis and Stan all the best, and we look forward to taking the next step towards winning that championship.”

Van Gundy was named head coach on June 7, 2007, becoming the ninth head coach in franchise history.

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