The Orlando Magic have a 19-57 record, one win up on the Charlotte Bobcats for the worst record overall in the league. While it's not the most attractive record, very few (if any) will say the Magic are heading in the wrong direction in the long term. Jacque Vaughn has been praised by his peers this season and his mentor is no exception.
After the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Orlando Magic in San Antonio, Gregg Popovich commented on Vaughn's approach to the team and what kind of job he's done so far.
"He's done a great job of just instituting a system," Popovich said of Vaughn. "He what knows wins and what loses, and he knows that in the long run certain elements of the game have to be established and standards have to be set. That's really where he's put his emphasis. (OrlandoSentinel.com)
Vaughn's situation isn't the most attractive right now with the results the Magic have been getting, but the system he's developed in Orlando has the team believing and playing hard every game. That commitment from a team is hard to come by, but Vaughn's leadership shows with how his players conduct themselves on the court.
"They have attention to detail," Popovich said later, discussing the Magic. "They play hard and they compete. That's a lot more important than anything else, especially when you're starting up a program."
Vaughn has been one of the few from the "School of Popovich" that have gone to a new team and implemented a new system to fit their team over trying to copy Popovich's exact approach. When you see the Orlando Magic off and on the court, you see the San Antonio Spurs. As far as the system and plays, you see a system that the Magic benefit from that puts them in situations to succeed over them trying to be Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, or Tony Parker in that system.
The Orlando Magic faithful should be excited with this young team developing under Jacque Vaughn and his influence rubbing off on his assistant coaches. Vaughn's success in learning from his mentor and establishing a new identity for his team will be the new blueprint for aspiring coaches in the league, especially with next year not coming soon enough for the Magic.