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NBA: Magic fire GM after five years

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2015, file photo, Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan pauses to answer
Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan pauses to answer a question during a news conference in Orlando, Fla. Magic have fired Hennigan after missing the postseason for five straight seasons.
(Stephen M. Dowell / Associated Press)

The Orlando Magic fired general manager Rob Hennigan, saying Thursday it was time to go in a different direction after missing the postseason for five seasons.

“We appreciate Rob’s efforts to rebuild the team, but feel we have not made any discernible improvement over the last few years specifically,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said Thursday in a statement. “It’s time for different leadership in basketball operations. We certainly wish Rob and his family well.”

Magic assistant general manager Matt Lloyd was named the interim GM while the team searches for Hennigan’s replacement. Orlando also fired assistant GM Scott Perry.

“Matt brings solid experience and his appointment as general manager on an interim basis will allow us to seamlessly continue our preparations for the upcoming draft,” Martins said.

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At 30, Hennigan was the youngest general manager in the NBA when he was hired by the Magic in June 2012.

But the Magic never won enough under Hennigan’s direction, missing the postseason all five years of his tenure and posting a 132-278 (.322) record — the second-worst in the NBA over the five seasons. The Magic finished this season 29-53 after entering the year with expectations of breaking through to the postseason under first-year coach Frank Vogel.

Hennigan has made several moves that didn’t pan out. The most recent was trading Victor Oladipo to Oklahoma City for veteran power forward Serge Ibaka last June. Hennigan also signed center Bismack Biyombo during free agency, as the team looked to go big in its frontcourt during a small-ball era.

Jackson staying with Knicks

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The New York Knicks and Phil Jackson picked up their options on the final two years of his contract, according to a report by ESPN.com. Knicks owner James Dolan said in February he would honor Jackson’s five-year deal, and it appears he’s keeping his word despite the Knicks’ having missed the playoffs in all three years with Jackson as president.

The Knicks wouldn’t comment on or confirm the report.

Jackson and the Knicks each had an option to part ways after the third full season of his contract. Jackson had the clause put in when it appeared there would be a work stoppage this summer, but the NBA and players union reached a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Knicks have lost at least 50 games all three seasons under Jackson. They ended 2016-17 with a 31-51 mark after winning their finale Wednesday against the 76ers. Overall, the Knicks are 80-166 with Jackson in charge.

Grizzlies’ Allen out

Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen is out indefinitely with a strained calf muscle in his right leg as his team gets ready for its Western Conference playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Grizzlies announced Thursday that Allen “will be continually reevaluated while beginning rehab immediately.”

Allen was injured Wednesday as the Grizzlies closed the regular season with a 100-93 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

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The 35-year-old Allen averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 71 games this season.

Attendance mark

The NBA broke its attendance record by drawing nearly 22 million fans this season.

The league said Thursday the total exceeded 21.9 million, topping last season’s mark by more than 25,000. The average attendance of 17,884 was also a record. The 723 sellouts tied the mark set in 2015-16.


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