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Magic waited far too long to fire general manager Rob Hennigan

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The question is not why the Orlando Magic fired general manager Rob Hennigan on Thursday.

The question was why they waited so long to do so.

Hennigan was a disaster, and his team was dysfunctional. His draft picks didn’t work out, and his free agents were worse. He didn’t get along with former coach Scott Skiles.

Meanwhile, the Magic ceased to become relevant and have no immediate hopes of becoming so. Orlando has lost at least 47 games in every season and had never made the playoffs under Hennigan.

“We appreciate Rob’s efforts to rebuild the team, but feel we have not made any discernible improvement over the last few years specifically,” team CEO Alex Martins said in a statement. “It’s time for different leadership in basketball operations. We certainly wish Rob and his family well.”

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the Magic have an interest in former player Grant Hill to work as president of basketball operations, but that it is unclear if Hill has an interest.

Under Hennigan, the Magic lacked stability. Free agents and draft picks have come and gone, as have coaches. There hasn’t been an all-star since Dwight Howard. There have been no trips to the playoffs. In pro sports, fans have to have something to believe in: the star player, the coach, the future.

Meanwhile, the team was 132-278 (.322) during his tenure.

Hennigan didn’t run out of trust Thursday.

He ran out long ago.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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