Nikola Vucevic on Scott Skiles leaving Magic: “I was surprised, like everyone else”

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You could tell at his press conference, Magic GM Rob Hennigan was caught off guard by coach Scott Skiles resignation, deciding to walk away from Orlando after just one season of a four-year contract. We know that Skiles and Hennigan didn’t see eye-to-eye on some team building issues — what to make of point guard Elfrid Payton is at the top of that list — but Hennigan thought things had been smoothed over after some meetings. Clearly not.

The resignation surprised the entire organization. Check out what big man Nikola Vucevic told Josh Robbins at the Orlando Sentinel.

“I was surprised, like everyone else,” Vucevic told the Orlando Sentinel during a phone interview.

“I don’t think anybody expected it to happen, but it was his decision. You just have to accept it and move on. It’s tough because I thought Coach was really doing something good for us. We were heading in the right direction. We finished up the season the right way. We had some good wins at the end. We were playing much better. He established a good foundation for the future. So it would’ve been good for us to kind of keep going with him, because he’s a good coach and also it’s important to have a certain continuity.”

Not everyone in the Magic organization was sad to see Skiles go, but they all were surprised. Here is what Victor Oladipo said online:

Im as surprised as anyone else, but I just wanna thank coach skiles for helping us but especially me improve on both ends of the floor this year in my 3rd season. What I learned from him I will keep with me for the rest of my career. I wish him all the best in anything he does.

It will be interesting to see if the Magic bring in a defense-first coach, such as Frank Vogel, to build off what Skiles had the team doing. Whoever they hire needs to be on the same page as Hennigan, much to the annoyance of some Magic fans the organization has sided with the GM over the coach now has to get those two positions pulling the rope in the same direction.