Jamahl Mosley

Orlando Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley: 'Putting This Puzzle Together is Going to be Fun'

Dan Savage
Director of Digital News

Magic’s Head Coach Sits Down with Orlando Magic Pod Squad, Which Makes Its Season Debut on Thursday

ORLANDO – There’s no question the Orlando Magic are loaded with young talent.  

Their roster features seven lottery selections under the age of 25, including Paolo Banchero (first overall – 2022), Markelle Fultz (first overall - 2017), Jalen Suggs (fifth overall - 2021), Jonathan Isaac (sixth overall - 2017), Mo Bamba (sixth overall – 2018), Wendell Carter Jr. (seventh overall - 2018), and Franz Wagner (eighth overall - 2021), to go along with other promising young pieces such as Cole Anthony, Bol Bol, R.J. Hampton, Caleb Houstan and Chuma Okeke. 

But how do you go about molding that young talent into a group that can eventually contend with the league’s best? 

That’s the task at hand for Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley and his staff. The 15th head coach in franchise history is entering his second year at the helm and hoping to continue to cultivate a competitive culture and have his young squad take the next steps in their development. 

“(Our number one goal this season is) competing,” Mosley told the Orlando Magic Pod Squad, which makes its season debut on Thursday. “I know we played hard last year and obviously there were the small mistakes of youth and just trying to figure things out. Obviously, basketball is a game of mistakes, so we’re not going to be perfect, but what you’re asking these young men to do is compete every single night (and) to continue to play hard. And when we talk about leveling up, it’s the attention to detail in our game planning. It’s their ability to not make the same mistakes more than once and understanding what that looks like. Dominating the simple. What does that look like in our fundamentals, how we do things, the passing, the moving, the cutting. Knowing when where and why you’re doing certain things. I want to make sure our guys know how we play without the basketball and that’s part of the decision-making process.” 

Many of the Magic’s young players are already in the building honing their craft in preparation for the start of training camp later this month. And the pick-up games have already started. If those sessions are any indication, Orlando’s camp is going to be filled with hard-fought five-on-five scrimmages that will continue to elevate the level of play for the team’s young core.  

“Iron sharpens iron,” Mosley explained. “These guys are going to make each other get better. They’re pushing each other. I’m watching the pick-up games now and these guys are competing. It’s fun to watch.” 

On media day – scheduled for September 26 – Orlando’s head coach will almost certainly be asked his plans for the team’s starting lineup this season. While it remains unclear what his answer will be, there’s no doubt he plans to use training camp to help sort out lineups, rotations, and the depth chart. 

“That’s the beauty of it,” Mosley said. “We talked about what we were growing and how we’re continuing to grow to get these young men better to achieve their level of success as well as ours. I really just think that now, you’re telling on yourself. Everyone expects the coach to come with the hammer, and this is what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. But you’re also judged by your peers. So, as your being judged by your peers in those competitions and we’re playing five-on-five and the red team loses and blue team’s going, well you’re telling what’s happening every single day. So, now if you’re playing this many minutes or that many minutes and you get into that, well it’s hard to argue when you watched it in practice what was going on.” 

Mosley and his staff spent time this summer analyzing the growth process of perennial championship contenders like the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston Celtics that have plenty of home-grown talent on their squads. They continue to hammer home the point of building the right way and not skipping steps in the process. 

He’s also aware that their roster is loaded with players capable of making an impact at a high level. Whether it’s the defensive versatility of the group or the number of playmakers up and down the roster, this team has the elements that are required to contend in this league. 

“With these guys being able to have length and strength and physical ability, you have a chance to disrupt a lot of teams in different ways,” said Mosley. “That’s why putting this puzzle together is going to be fun. That’s why I am so excited about camp because these guys are going to push each other, they’re going to compete, and it’s going to get chippy. And I’m so excited about that.” 

You can listen to Mosley’s full sit-down interview with the Orlando Magic Pod Squad this Thursday. The team's official podcast, which enters its fifth season, consists of Magic play-by-play announcer David Steele, color analyst Jeff Turner, studio host/sideline reporter Dante Marchitelli, and Senior Director of Communications George Galante. 

Along with discussing the team’s outlook, Mosley touches on the stellar play of Wagner for Germany in EuroBasket, his impressions of Banchero, the value Fultz brings to the squad, and more. 

You can also watch all prior Pod Squad episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTnjthseCky6Fi-1BuLd-6pfca3LDHwaR