After a five-game losing streak, a 24-25 start and a near-insurrection by Magic players, Orlando fired coach Brian Hill on Tuesday and replaced him on an interim basis with assistant Richie Adubato.
The Magic won two Atlantic Division titles, reached the Eastern Conference finals twice and made one appearance in the NBA Finals under Hill, but that was when Shaquille O’Neal was still part of the team.
With O’Neal now with the Lakers, and with injuries to Nick Anderson and Penny Hardaway, the Magic has struggled, and Horace Grant said the players held a meeting last week in Minnsota, then related their concerns to John Gabriel, the Orlando general manager, by speaker phone.
“That’s the puzzling part for everybody, including myself,” Hill said of the players’ actions. ". . . Sometimes players just need to hear another voice. It might be saying the same thing, but at least it’s different.”