You can't fire the owners.
You can't fire the players.
And, so, Coach Jacque Vaughn took the fall Thursday for the Orlando Magic's abysmal season and a three-year rebuild that's looking more and more like it could be a washout.
As I wrote last week in a column calling for Vaughn to be dismissed: "Magic CEO Alex Martins and General Manager Rob Hennigan need a designated scapegoat for why their team is so gawd-awful. Blaming the coach and firing him is the quickest, easiest way to appease fans who have split into two troubling factions – acutely angry and alarmingly apathetic."
The Magic are in Year 3 of the rebuild and are regressing rather than progressing. They've now lost 10 in a row, 16 of 18 and given up at least 100 points in 14 straight games. After 52 games, the Magic are 15-37 -- the same record they had after 52 games last year. Not exactly the type of progress Martins and Henningan had hoped for this season.
The losing streak and the lack of desire and defense has become embarrassing. The team has been getting booed at home and ripped by fans on social media and talk radio. The negativity and apathy surrounding the team is as at record levels.
Magic management obviously believes the talent level is better than the team is performing. That is why Jacque Vaughn lost his job Thursday.
Magic fans can only hope his firing will fix the team's problems.
If it doesn't, then what?