Wednesday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Jun 02

Wednesday’s Magic Word

  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Prepped by the [Orlando] Magic PR staff not to react angrily when approached for comment before tipoff Friday, [Dwight] Howard didn’t say a disparaging word. But later in the night, after the Magic were eliminated, he asked a reporter for the whereabouts of Borges. Howard couldn’t locate him, but the unfiltered conversation would have been, um, animated. Given a few days to mull things over and contemplate a season of unfulfilled goals, Howard is taking the road less travelled. Only 24, he has come to understand that life is difficult, and it’s impossible to focus with all the clanging cymbals in his head. On a more simplistic level, Howard is going with the “sticks and stones may hurt my bones but names will never hurt me” approach to the antagonists.”
  • Today, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel continues his player evaluations — Adonal Foyle, Marcin Gortat, Anthony Johnson, and Mickael Pietrus.
  • The Orlando Magic meet the Wu-Tang Clan name generator.
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post looks back at the respective seasons of Brandon Bass and Vince Carter.
  • SLAM ONLINE shares video of the 1995 Roundball Classic, which featured Carter and other then-high schoolers like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Take a look.
  • Dwight Howard: “I want to thank all of the Magic fans out there for the love that they showed us this season. It used to be that we’d go into arenas on the road and we’d never see Magic jerseys on the fans. Jameer [Nelson] and I vowed to one another a few years back that we were going to make Magic basketball more popular. I feel like we’ve done that, but we still need that championship! We’re not bringing that ‘chip home and I’m sure fans are as disappointed right now as I am. I like to think that things happen for a reason, and I think we’ll learn from this. It will take me most of the summer to get over this loss. I know the sun will come up tomorrow and life will be just fine. After some time, hopefully I can get my mind off us not getting back to The Finals and not winning that title. I just need some time right now.”
  • Lang Whitaker of SLAM ONLINE looks back at NBA Finals in years past and shares his notes with everyone. Some of the anecdotes are memorable, like this one: “The Magic then replaced the Lakers at the hastily assembled podiums surrounding the court. Jameer Nelson and Rafer Alston were nearly side by side, though Rafer had a microphone and Jameer didn’t, so Skip was basically talking over Jameer. Meanwhile, supplanted back-up point guard Anthony Johnson was sitting alone on the scorer’s table at halfcourt, methodically working his way through a bag of sunflower seeds, a habit he said was a remnant of his baseball career in high school. [...] I sat with AJ for the entire Magic media availability and watched him patiently explain over and over again to a rotating crop of reporters that yes, he’d like to be playing right now, but it was Stan Van Gundy’s decision and AJ was not going to ’cause a ruckus’ at this point in the season. He did a nice job deflecting pretty much every question, though it was kind of amusing to see AJ fish for an inoffensive answer when Marc Berman asked him, ‘Do you believe in the saying, If it ain’t broke don’t fix it?’ ”
  • Zach Harper of Hardwood Paroxysm on Matt Barnes: “He’s a sub-par offensive player and an above average defensive player. He’s an agitator on the court and in there to stir things up a bit. He’s basically the Bam Margera of the NBA. There’s not a lot of discernible talent and it’s hard to figure out how he keeps getting on TV. And yet there he is, breaking stuff for no reason and messing with his fat uncle that has the crazy eyes that don’t point in the same direction. Well, he just opted out of his contract after the Magic were eliminated from the playoffs by the hands of the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Perhaps, you remember the Magic’s run in the playoffs this year. It was the same set of post-season games in which J.J. Redick completely outplayed his teammate and damn near made him obsolete. Perhaps you’re asking yourself why a struggling basketball player would try to get himself a pay raise after a bad run of basketball. Isn’t that the anti-Croshere move?”
  • Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm chimes in on Ryan Anderson and the lack of minutes he got in the 2010 NBA Playoffs: “Anderson’s production has been there. He’s a terrific asset, and he looks like the piece New Jersey shouldn’t have surrendered. That he’s now trapped three deep on Orlando is a shame. He’s capable of so much more, and if the Magic don’t want to use him, that’s fine, but let’s go see what he can do elsewhere. Trapping him long term in Orlando is a waste of his potential. If you’re not going to use him anyway, go get a Collins brother or someone else equally useless. Don’t pen up the kid that can shoot.”
  • John Hollinger of ESPN Insider ranks all 66 teams that have played for the Larry O’Brien trophy. The 2009 Magic are ranked ahead of the 1995 Magic, for those that are curious: “Orlando won 59 games and beat two 60-win teams to make the Finals, so the Magic weren’t chopped liver. On the other hand, they tied a record with 11 playoff losses and their playoff scoring margin was in the bottom 15 among Finalists. Magic fans will be pleased to learn, however, that this team ranks ahead of the team’s other Finals entry, which starred the since-departed and now-despised Shaquille O’Neal.”
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