Can Billy Donovan succeed in the NBA?
All the signs indicate that Donovan has somewhat of a chance to be successful as coach of the Orlando Magic, but the odds are stacked against him because of past history involving successful college coaches jumping the rank and file to coach in a players league.
Unlike most college coaches who have packed their bags and moved to higher ground in the professional ranks, Donovan won't have to move to another state and make a name for himself. He's known in Florida and will only be 115 miles away from the school where he coached the 11 previous seasons. Plus the money - all guaranteed - is good, too.
His paycheck figures to bring home a reported $27.5 million over a five-year period. Not bad for a coach who has never dealt with players outside of the collegiate circles, but one who is young enough to identify with their traits, moods and desires. The only question is whether or not those same players, who also earn a big paycheck, will be willing to listen to a coach, who doesn't have and NBA championship ring, but has won two NCAA championships in back-to-back fashion.