Skiles stated "after much thought and careful consideration, I and I alone, have come to the conclusion that I am not the right head coach for this team." Sources are also saying that part of the reason for him leaving was the team not picking up an option on his contract. The team option was for the 2018-19 season, with the deal running through the 2017-18 campaign.
Skiles did apologize for whomever his tough decision affected. Magic general manager Rob Hennigan sounded stunned when he said "this is certainly a challenging day for us, an unexpected day."
The 52-year-old has also coached the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, and Phoenix Suns in his 14-year career. His decision makes the Magic now the fourth team currently looking for a head coach, joining Memphis, Houston, and Indiana.
The coach led the young Magic team to a 35-47 record this past season, as they missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year. They had five players on their team that was a rookie or in their second NBA season. The team had early playoff hopes after going 9-6 in November and 10-5 in December, helping them to a 19-13 start to their season. They would then lose 34 of their last 50 games.
After that collapse, Skiles felt the team had too far to go, and was not making the progress they needed to under his leadership. When the team finds a replacement, it will be their fourth coach over a span of four seasons.