An organization is at the heart of every franchise, in charge of providing stability for players and fans. Moreso than players — who can’t compete at the highest level in perpetuity — an organization is the impetus behind the long-term success of a franchise.
For instance, Tim Duncan can’t play basketball forever. But the front office can continue to find the next Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal or Danny Green for a lot longer.
An incompetent or otherwise poorly structured organization and you are the Charlotte Bobcats. A cohesive balance between coaching and management and you are the San Antonio Spurs or, more recently, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, having spent the last five years with the Spurs organization, hopes that Orlando will replicate the same success.
“For me, the Spurs organization was the ultimate merging of coaching staff and management,” Vaughn said. “There was a mutual respect that I think needs to be there for success in an organization. There was communication, and those things have to be present, in my opinion, for success.”
But for this to happen, Orlando will need to maintain continuity. The Spurs, for every person who leaves the organization, still have the essential underpinnings in tact — owner Peter Holt, general manager R.C. Buford and coach Gregg Popovich.
The replenished Magic organization, without general manager Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy, will have to deal with a roster ill-equipped for playoff contention. Plus, the staff is less experienced and will need some time to acclimate themselves to the NBA.
Vaughn and current general manager Rob Hennigan, both with ties to the Spurs organization, can only hope that they find the right people to head the franchise.
Only then will the franchise be able to return to their previous standards.