The Orlando Magic lead the NBA’s Southeastern Division with a 16-4 record and hold the second best record in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics.
Which begs the question, would the team have gotten off to the same start with Billy Donovan than it did with Stan Van Gundy?
Donovan held the Magic coaching job for six days in June before returning to Florida after a change of heart. Orlando then turned to Van Gundy, who had prior NBA head coaching experience with the Miami Heat.
“I’m happy for them,” Donovan said, when asked about the Magic on Tuesday. “I know they’ve gotten off to a great start. I think it’s terrific.”
Donovan insists he has no regrets about returning to a young Florida team, even though he could foresee Orlando being successful this season.
“I’m not surprised at what they are doing,” Donovan said. “I think that’s part of the reason why there was a level of interest on my part because I thought they could be very, very good. And it’s not even about that for me.
“I hope they win every single game. It’s not even about that for me. If it was about that for me, I would have done it. What really came about for me was where I wanted to be and where my heart was at.”
Donovan said he’s also followed his five players from last season who are now rookies in the NBA. On Monday, former Gator center Al Horford was named NBA Eastern Conference rookie of the month for November.
“Horford has made an impact with his rebounding,” Donovan said. “A lot of your playing time has to do with who is on the team, who’s got experience.
“They are all growing. They are all going to get better. They didn’t set the world on fire their freshman years in college and I didn’t think they’d set the NBA on fire either. But they are going to be really good players and they are going to learn and get better and they are going to grow.”