After finishing the 2020-2021 season 30 games under .500, the Orlando Magic and Steve Clifford announced Saturday they are mutually parting ways. Orlando Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman citing the reason for the departure as a misalignment in vision,
“We would like to thank Steve for his contributions to the Orlando Magic, We appreciate the many sacrifices he has made as our head coach and understand the timeline of our new path does not align with his goals as a head coach in our league.”Orlando Magic president of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman
Orlando Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford released a statement as part of the announcement thanking the community,
“I would like to thank the DeVos family, Magic leadership and the entire staff, and certainly wish everyone well. It’s been an honor and privilege to coach this team in this community.”Orlando Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford
Clifford was named the head coach back in 2018, and during his tenure, he led the Magic to two postseason berths. In the two postseason births in the past two seasons, the Magic never made it past the first round. However, this season the Magic did not have as much success finishing with a record of 21-51. This record placed the Magic 14th in the Eastern Conference and last place in the Southeast Division.
Clifford came to Orlando in 2018 after a five-year tenure with the Charlotte Hornets. In his five years with the Hornets, he led the team to two playoff births in 2013 and 2015.
The Magic are the third team in the past two days to announce that they are making a change at the head coach position. When looking at the Magic roster, the entire roster is in their 20s and with a team developing their talent. So, it will be interesting to see which route they choose as someone who has a lot of experience or a younger coach to develop the talent.