Scott Skiles is coming home. The former Orlando Magic standout is returning to the team he played for, only this time, as their new head coach.
The Orlando Magic officially named Skiles their head coach, plastering a giant banner image on their web site home page with the tagline “Welcome Home.”
“Scott clearly distinguished himself as a tremendous fit,” Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan said of Skiles. “Our young roster will benefit greatly from Scott’s extensive head coaching experience and commitment to teaching smart, physical, unselfish basketball. We believe in Scott’s ability to establish a culture of winning habits and accountability that will help guide our team in a positive direction.”
Skiles, a seasoned coaching veteran, has an overall record of 443-433 (.506) as head coach. His previous stops were with the Suns, Bulls, and Bucks, and during his 13 seasons as a head coach, his teams have reached the NBA Playoffs six times.
Skiles brings a hard-nosed reputation to the court, similar to that of the recently fired Tom Thibodeau. However, with such a young roster at his disposal, that may not be a terrible move for the Magic, who finished with a 25-57 record in 2014-2015.
Yahoo! Sports certainly thinks the hiring of Scott Skiles as Orlando’s head coach will help — at first.
“Scott Skiles can coach well at the NBA level. Scott Skiles will bring a semblance of professionalism to your roster, and define your culture. Your team will improve, and players of all types and motivations will respond positively. Scott Skiles, for 24 or even 36 months, will be the best part of your basketball team.”
But just as Thibodeau wore out his welcome in Chicago, blogger Kelly Dwyer predicts a similar fate.
“Scott Skiles, because spots don’t change, will eventually tire of his role, and his players will tire of him. The offense, heavy on passing but also mid-range jumpers, will fail in this modern era. Skiles’ sarcasm will leak out in reports both on record and off, and both he and his players will want a parting of ways. Skiles, understandably, will want all the guaranteed money left on his contract, and he’ll push to be fired rather than walking away. Jim Boylan will be hired as interim head coach upon his removal.”
Still, not everyone is predicting such doom and gloom. Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk thinks Scott Skiles is the right man for the job.
When I think player development, Scott Skiles is not the first name to come to mind.
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) May 23, 2015
Only time will tell if he’s right. Scott Skiles played with the Orlando Magic for five years as point guard from 1989 to 1994.
[Scott Skiles photo credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images]