The Sixth Man: Vaughn takes over untenable situation in OrlandoJul 30, 2012 - 7:03 PM Philadelphia, Pa (Sports Network) - On one hand Jacque Vaughn can breathe a sigh of relief and rest secure in the knowledge that he is one of only 30 people on this planet who will be coaching an NBA team this fall.
On the other hand, the first time head coach could be biting off a little more that he can chew in Orlando.
Vaughn, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio and was a member of its 2006-07 championship team as a player, was tabbed to take over a Magic team which has been a legitimate NBA contender since Dwight Howard developed into perhaps the game's most dominant big man.
Orlando eventually topped out with a Finals loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008-09. Despite being ever so close to capturing the game's ultimate prize, however, Howard decided winning an NBA title in Central Florida was going to be impossible, especially with a coach, Stan Van Gundy, he disdained and a general manager, Otis Smith, he felt didn't do enough to surround him with a championship-level supporting cast.
The so-called "Dwightmare" has been going on in Orlando for well over a year now with the organization doing everything possible to convince "The Franchise" to stay put.
Back in May, Van Gundy was relieved of his duties, and Smith "mutually parted ways with the organization." Everything was done with an eye on keeping D-12 in the Sunshine State but the three-time Defensive Player of the Year has been steadfast in telling new GM Rob Hennigan that Orlando is no longer an option.
At just 30-years-old, Hennigan, who made his bones by spending four years with the Spurs and another four years working for Oklahoma City, is the youngest GM in the NBA but understands the eventual end game here.
Understandably Hennigan does not want to make a major mistake in what will likely be regarded as his most significant personnel move even if he spends the next 30 years in the league.
Rumored trades to Brooklyn -- Howard's desired destination -- and Los Angeles have proved to be just that and Howard remains Orlando property for now.
Vaughn, like any competitive person, may even think there is some sort of panacea which can cure Howard's desire to abandon Orlando but there isn't.
Eventually, whether it's in the next few weeks, at the 2013 trading deadline or next summer, Dwight is leaving Orlando and Vaughn in the rear-view mirror.
And when that happens you can't help thinking Orlando's new coach could end up being the next Kurt Rambis.
Rambis, of course, was a highly-regarded assistant under Phil Jackson with the Lakers and considered to be one of the frontrunners to take over once P-Jax finally called it a career.
Tired of waiting, Rambis was lured to the Twin Cities by same siren's song which brought Vaughn to the Magic,"one of only 30 jobs."
In Rambis' case, a moribund Minnesota team turned him from hot assistant into failed head coach.
These days Rambis is rarely mentioned when coaching jobs open up. It's not like GMs around the league don't know he has a good basketball mind but Rambis' dismal record with the Timberwolves would make hiring him a tough spin in any city.
Here's hoping Vaughn doesn't suffer a similar fate.
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