Tuesday , Jun , 05 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Billy Donovan Will Face NBA Ban For Leaving Orlando Magic

Billy Donovan won’t be allowed to just leave the Orlando Magic … In fact, the Magic want to make sure Donovan doesn’t patrol an NBA sideline anytime soon, demanding he refrain from coaching in The Association … Is this fair? … Click here for this story and weigh in with your thoughts …

ESPN’s Andy Katz reports that Billy Donovan could face a five year ban from the NBA for leaving the :

Billy Donovan and the Magic entered talks on Monday to terminate the contract that he signed on Friday, but the NBA might have a say in resolving the matter as well, ESPN.com has learned.

Multiple sources said that Donovan is being asked to refrain from coaching in the NBA for five years as one of the terms of his release from his Magic contract. Especially in light of this newest wrinkle, negotiations were expected to continue into Tuesday.

ESPN’s Kelly Naqi cites a Magic team source saying Donovan obtained legal representation at 6 p.m. Monday to work on the complexities of the contract with Orlando attorneys.

The source also said that Donovan has called high-ranking team officials several times apologizing for his change of heart. According to the source, Donovan said, "I’m so sorry this happened. I meant no harm. My heart is in Florida."

My Quick Take: Donovan better love college basketball because the Magic won’t let him coach in the NBA anytime soon.

Orlando is well within their right to make this demand. After all, hundreds of fans purchased season tickets after the team announced they had signed Donovan.

How would Magic fans feel if Donovan ended up on the Miami Heat’s sideline?

Orlando also has to protect their brand and reputation. Consider that NBA fans have never really respected the Magic franchise. It may be the hokey uniforms. It may be Shaq trading O-town for Hollywood. It may be the Disney World thing.

Whatever the reason, Orlando has never gotten any real love from hoop heads. But bringing in Donovan, one of the NBA’s hottest coaching prospects, was supposed to boost the franchise’s profile and prestige.

Unfortunately, the Donovan signing has blown up in their face. The Magic must now show their own fans and the entire basketball world that they are indeed a professional organization. This means protecting the franchise and demanding some form of compensation from Donovan.

Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA blog.