Saturday, May 26, 2018
Sports

Vogel's happiest place on earth?

Frank Vogel actually chose the Orlando Magic.

Unlike all of the others throughout the years — Shaq, T-Mac, Dwight, Billy Donovan and, most recently, Scott Skiles — he really and truly wants to be in Orlando.

This, more than anything, is what makes the Magic's new coaching hire so meaningful.

"This organization checked off all the boxes," a giddy Vogel told me. "This is the place I felt my family and I would be happy. ... I'm confident we can create something in Orlando that's even better on all fronts than what we accomplished in Indiana."

Imagine that, a free-agent star who is actually coming to the Magic instead of leaving them.

After guiding the Indiana Pacers to five playoff appearances and two Eastern Conference Finals in six years, Vogel could have coached elsewhere, perhaps even taking over playoff teams in Memphis or Houston or jetting off to the Big Apple to coach the Knicks. But the best candidate on the market actually wanted to coach the Magic just a week after Skiles wanted NOT to coach the Magic.

This reminds me of nearly a decade ago when Donovan backed out on coaching the Magic and the club ended up with Stan Van Gundy instead. Van Gundy would go on to become the greatest coach in Magic history and lead the team to the NBA Finals two years later.

I'm not saying Vogel will have the Magic competing for a championship in two years; I'm just saying Skiles quitting might be the best thing that could have happened because Vogel is a better coach and a better fit.

"I didn't talk to him (Skiles) and I'm not worried about the situation of how he left," Vogel said. "I make my own judgments on people. ... I wanted to talk to the people in Orlando myself and see what kind of connection I had with them — and right off the bat I knew this was a great fit for me."

From the beginning, Skiles and Magic GM Rob Hennigan always seemed like an odd union between two completely different personalities. It was like Tim Tebow marrying Kim Kardashian.

Vogel and Hennigan have much more in common. They both played Division III basketball in the Northeast. Vogel says the two men hit it off immediately and have the same vision.

Unlike Skiles, who clashed with management in his last two jobs, Vogel is considered a coach who gets along with management. Let's face it, if you can work for a massive ego like Pacers president Larry Bird, you can probably work for Hennigan.

However, it's hard to fathom that Vogel and Skiles could have such a diverse opinion of where the Magic are headed. Skiles presumably quit because he thought Hennigan's roster was inherently flawed; Vogel says he took the job because the Magic's roster has so much potential.

Here's hoping Vogel is right and Skiles is wrong.

And it looks like Vogel is already a Disney disciple.

"I want to take some of Mickey's optimism," Vogel says of our famous mouse, "and spread it around our team."

After four years of noxious negativity, the Magic could use some positive pixie dust. — Orlando Sentinel (TNS)

Comments
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Andre Dawson’s new and sometimes awkward career: funeral home owner

Andre Dawson’s new and sometimes awkward career: funeral home owner

By DAVE HYDESun Sentinel (TNS)The first time Andre Dawson drove a hearse, he turned to the woman in the casket and said, completely serious, "I'll do my best to make sure this isn't bumpy."The first time he told Hall of Fame baseball friends Tim Rain...
Published: 05/25/18
Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Published: 05/25/18
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Published: 05/25/18
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Published: 05/25/18
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Published: 05/25/18
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Published: 05/25/18
Stand down on anthem, NFL

Stand down on anthem, NFL

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Published: 05/25/18
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Published: 05/25/18
Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

TAMPA — Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has always been generous with his time, staying after practice to work with younger players. That should be a real added benefit for first-round pick Vita Vea.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"That's my M.O.'' Mc...
Published: 05/25/18