- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “From either his spot along the baseline near the Orlando Magic’s bench or in his family suite high above the crowd, Rich DeVos likes what he sees when he peers out across the arena that bear his company’s name. He certainly enjoys the product out on Amway Arena’s parquet floor what with his Magic having breezed through the first round of the playoffs and once again being legitimate contenders to win the NBA championship. But when the 84-year-old DeVos attends games – and he likes to come more than the once-a-week edict his wife, Helen, gave him recently – he sees beyond the action on the court. He sees kids’ basketball teams being honored at midcourt during timeouts, church choir groups singing the national anthem and teenagers scurrying in the stands for t-shirts shot out from those cannons. But mostly, DeVos – a family man’s man – sees dads and daughters interacting, husbands and wives smooching on the kiss cam and grandfathers talking basketball with their grandsons. It’s moments like these that DeVos is delighted to be the owner and steward to Orlando’s deepest-rooted, longest-lasting professional franchise.”
- The odds that Dwight Howard is fined for his comments on his official blog yesterday are very high. UPDATE: It’s official.
- Ben Q Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel begins the “rest versus rust” debate here, and some commenters in these pages have wondered if the Magic would have been better off if the Bobcats gave them a rougher go of it in the first round. Could the Magic have used an additonal 48 or 96 minutes as they gear up for their championship run? Will the long layoff between series work against them? These are valid concerns, but ultimately, the Magic should be just fine. [...] Howard, their go-to guy, has been monstrously efficient. [Rashard] Lewis, [Vince] Carter, [Matt] Barnes, [Mickael] Pietrus, and [Jason] Williams have been on fire from the outside. Lewis doesn’t score much, but does it efficiently. Carter hasn’t scored much relative to most other high-profile wing performers, but he’s still putting up better than a point every two minutes on reasonable percentages, which is in line with his season averages. [Jameer] Nelson, on whom the Magic leaned heavily in the first round, and [J.J] Redick are the only two players in the Magic’s top ten who have struggled after long rests.”
- Also, make sure to check out OPP for a look back at some of the major storylines from the Magic’s first round series against the Charlotte Bobcats. Topics include: Howard’s foul trouble and the production (or lack thereof) from the bench.
- Darren Rovell, CNBC Sports Business Reporter, takes a look at the changing dynamics between agents and athletes: “If there are too many agents in the sports world today, blame the movie Jerry Maguire, which despite its cautionary tale, hooked almost every kid who didn’t make it as a pro athlete. [...] In the 1996 movie, which is still the fifth highest grossing sports movie of all time, Jerry was constantly fighting to keep his client Rod Tidwell. But those fights were against the rest of the agent world. Today? Sure, there’s client stealing going on. But there are also the athlete’s friends and relatives who get into the business and convince a star that it makes sense to go in another direction.”