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#pounditSunday, September 20, 2020

Wife Drove Billy Donovan’s Decision to Desert Orlando

The St. Petersburg Times has a really interesting chronology and account of Billy Donovan’s decision to leave Orlando and return to Florida. In reading through the article, I can’t help but notice that Donovan’s wife seems to have been a driving force in Donovan’s departure from the Magic. Just take the opening sentences:

Billy Donovan was distraught Saturday morning, and his wife took action. Christine Donovan dialed Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley and told him Donovan was having second thoughts about becoming the Magic’s coach.

Later it’s explained that the wife was instrumental in making sure assistant Larry Shyatt was involved:

She turned to assistant coach Larry Shyatt. “Make a U-turn, ” Shyatt recalled her saying as he drove toward a basketball camp. The Donovans needed help.

Donovan’s wife apparently continued to make the telephone rounds, calling Billy’s father next:

By early Saturday afternoon, Bill Donovan had received a call from his daughter-in-law, telling him how distraught his son was. He knew Billy was “very sensitive about how things affect other people.”

I could be off base in my analysis of what I’ve read in the article, but it really seems to me as if Donovan’s wife went out of her way to make sure he returned to Florida. Think about, only days later she was making all sorts of phone calls on his behalf. If she weren’t around making all these phone calls, where would that have put Billy? Isn’t it entirely possible that he would have worked out his misgivings and realized he should honor his commitment to the Magic? I certainly think so.

I’m willing to bet that Billy Donovan would be the present day coach of Orlando if his wife wasn’t next to him pushing all the buttons. I could be entirely wrong, but that’s what I’m gathering based on the article.

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