Billy Magic Begins

By David Scott - June 01, 2007

ORLANDO - Billy Donovan's coronation as the new king of Orlando Magic basketball is now complete after a 40-minute press conference at the Magic's practice facility. An entire wall of bleachers was filled with fawning Magic employees and supporters and at least 15 minicams focused in on the NBA's newest head coach while a throng of media (many from national outlets in town for the NBA Pre-Draft Camp) filled the four rows of seats set up in front of the platform where Donovan and GM Otis Smith answered questions.

We'll have a post-presser column in the afternoon but a couple of newsy items that emerged from Donovan's Q&A session include the fact that he will be brinigng assistant coach Larry Shyatt with him from Gainesville and that Donovan through his full support behind VCU's Anthony Grant as the next head coach of the Gators.

Grant finished his first season at VCU after a tremendous season in which the Rams advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after winning the CAA Tournament (and an upset of Duke in the Tourney). He had been with Donovan at Florida for 10 of the coach's 11 seasons.

The news that Shyatt is also jumping to the NBA means that he will not be considered for the vacant Gators job.

. . . UMass coach Travis Ford was in attendance to support a fellow branch on the Pitino tree. Ford, in town to watch Rashuan Freeman and Stephane Lasme at the Pre-Draft Camp, said, "It's well earned for Billy. He deserves it."

Asked if he could ever envision himself in the same position, Ford smiled and said, "I love the NBA. That would be an amazing opportunity."

. . . We're on our way back over to the Pre-Draft Camp where we will provide some updates from the final day of games and, as we mentioned, we'll also have a Donovan column posted at later in the day.

Posted by David Scott at 12:10 PM on June 01, 2007

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