Jacque Vaughn’s Initial “Stay Patient” Message Rings True to Orlando Magic Fans

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Apr 7, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn talks with point guard Beno Udrih (19) and small forward Tobias Harris (12) during a timeout against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USA TODAY Sports

In the preseason, when Jacque Vaughn was asked what his message to Magic fans was, he simply said two words. Two words which summed up what any coach of any rebuilding team could ask of his fan base.

“Stay patient.”

Vaughn knew he was taking on a massive effort. Coaching a team that is expected to lose most of its games presents new challenges to a coach. It’s no longer about trying to run up scores or position the team for a playoff run, but more about developing talents, testing lineups and trying to find pieces that fit together as the team shapes its destiny over the upcoming seasons.

Vaughn is the perfect young coach for this effort. He guided the team to a 12-13 record through the first 25 games and it appeared the team was on its way towards vastly outperforming expectations.

Months prior, Vegas Oddsmakers set the over/under on wins at 21. With the club now 20-60, they could potentially have the second-worst mark in franchise history if they fail to win either of their final two games. And, that total has turned out to be disturbingly accurate, after all.

But it almost doesn’t matter.