Jacque Vaughn impressed many in his introductory press conference. He sang a very different tune than former head coach Stan Van Gundy, sticking to and echoing the same catchphrases and terms from general manager Rob Hennigan. Vaughn is very much a coach in the Gregg Popovich family and thus will fit in with the Magic are trying to build — sustainable and long-term success for the franchise.
In the back of the interview room at Amway Center where press conferences are held, Glen Davis watched his new coach introduce himself to the media.
Davis will be a big part of whatever the Magic are building after he starred in Dwight Howard's absence last year — notably averaging 19.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game during the Playoffs. He also has three years left on a four-year contract signed last summer.
No matter what Vaughn envisions, Davis will be important because of his championship experience and the hard work he has put in to make himself a valuable player in the NBA. Particularly last year in a tough first season with Orlando.
Davis met with Vaughn shortly after that introductory press conference and came away extremely impressed with his new coach, as Davis told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
He’s a wonderful guy,” Davis said of Vaughn. “His upside is just amazing. Where he’s been in his life and his career, the things that he’s encountered as far as a basketball level and things like that is high. And he’s young. He’s ready.
“I called him a ‘thirsty dog,’ because I know he’s been chomping at the bits to get on that level of coaching. Now he has the opportunity to do that. I’m blessed and fortunate to be in a situation to be his first pupil."
The Orlando media were pretty quick to compar Vaughn's temperament and approach to coaching, not to mention his lack of experience, to former Magic coach Doc Rivers. Davis is quite familiar with him and, from his limited conversations and experience with Vaughn so far, sees a lot of his former Celtics coach in the Magic's new head man.
Davis will be at the center of everything for Orlando for a while. He became a featured player in Dwight Howard's absence and will now be seen as a veteran presence in the locker room more than ever.
Certainly, Vaughn will be relying on Davis to bring consistency to a young team and a voice int he locker room pushing the players to get better though a ton of losses. Players like Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick and Glen Davis will be critical in this process as the three players likely to be held over from the last remnants of the Dwight Howard era.
With little coaching experience and clout behind him, it will be important for Vaughn to have his players behind him. Davis is very much behind Vaughn at this early stage, a huge shot of confidence into what Orlando is trying to build in a post-Dwight Howard world.