After The Athletic's Josh Robbins and Shams Charania reported Friday that the Magic had laid off 31 full-time employees and eliminated 16 open positions because of pandemic-related financial struggles, longtime team beat writer John Denton announced Saturday he was part of the cuts. Van Gundy, who coached Orlando from 2007-2012, responded to Denton's tweet with sarcasm aimed at the DeVos family, which owns the franchise.
"These layoffs just couldn't be avoided," Van Gundy said. "The DeVos family that owns the Magic only has a net worth of about $5 BILLION. They just couldn't afford to continue to pay all of their employees."
These layoffs just couldn’t be avoided. The DeVos family that owns the Magic only has a net worth of about $5 BILLION. They just couldn’t afford to continue to pay all of their employees. https://t.co/kgHYJMgJq8— Stan Van Gundy (@realStanVG) July 18, 2020
It's unclear how much the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the DeVos family fortune, but Forbes listed its net worth at $5.4 billion as of March 2018.
"Our business, as well as many others like us, are significantly impacted due to COVID-19," Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a statement (via The Athletic). "We have had to make some very difficult business decisions in these unprecedented times. Due to this reality we have had to make the very hard decision to evaluate our overall structure, reorganize and reduce our headcount. For an organization like ours, whose mission is centered around our people, and creating the best work environment possible, grounded in family values, this is a very difficult situation to confront, and it will be even more difficult for our colleagues who will be leaving us.
"Please know that we do not take this decision lightly, and although most difficult for our colleagues that we must say goodbye to, please know that this is a decision that is very difficult for our organization as well. This is not the fault of any specific individual that we must part with today, this decision is purely about becoming more efficient in a post COVID-19 environment, and the requirement to be more efficient in this unknown future that we find ourselves faced with."
Martins added employees leaving the organization would receive "fair severance, health care benefits continuance, outplacement services and wellness consultation."
Back in March, the DeVos family announced the creation of a $2 million compensation fund in order to pay lost wages to approximately 1,800 part-time workers for the Magic, Amway Center, Lakeland Magic and Orlando Solar Bears. Some Magic players contributed to the fund, which was designed to assist those who lost jobs after the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season following Rudy Gobert's positive COVID-19 test.
"The people behind our teams are family to us and it's our honor to provide assistance to those adversely impacted during this trying time," Magic chairman Dan DeVos said of the fund.
The Magic also laid off several employees in 2012 after a lockout cut the regular season down to 66 games.