- Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com: “There are a lot of players in the league that would be happy to be in Marcin Gortat’s shoes. He’s played an integral role on a team that’s reached the Eastern Conference Finals in two straight seasons. He’s won over the hearts of fans throughout Orlando and in his home country of Poland. And he’s only in the second year of a contract that makes him one of the best paid young centers in the league. But the ‘Polish Machine’ is far from satisfied. Just a week after his team was eliminated from the Eastern Conference Finals, Gortat is back at the RDV Sportsplex training and working on aspects of his game. Like his squad, Gortat feels that he took a step backwards this season and he’s anxious to get to work this offseason on improving his game in a number of ways.”
- Marcin Gortat chats with Savage in a Q/A session: “After we finished the season, right after the game, I sat down and asked myself ‘what kind of season did I play? How did it happen that we lost in the Eastern Conference Finals? This team was built to win a championship, we lost and what did I do to help the team?’ Honestly, I said ‘I had exactly the same season like I had last year.’ I had a little drop in points, but I went up a little bit in blocks. Rebounds were pretty much the same. Everything was pretty much the same. I just realized that I had the same season. But then I came back home and after a couple of days I realized this season was (really bad) for me actually. My goal was to have bigger statistics, play better, have a bigger role on the team, be more aggressive on offense and I didn’t do any of those things. So I just realized that I had a (really bad) season, because I just played at the same level.”
- Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel responds to Charles Oakley after he made disparaging remarks towards Dwight Howard last week in a radio interview.
- David Aldridge of NBA.com: “One year removed from its own Finals appearance, the core of the Magic is set for years to come: Howard in the middle, Rashard Lewis at power forward and [Jameer] Nelson at point guard. [Otis] Smith will have to make decisions on forward Matt Barnes (who says he’ll opt out of the final year of his contract), on Vince Carter (who has one fully guaranteed year remaining on his contract and a partial guarantee for the 2011-12 season — which would make him an attractive piece to trade). Oh, and valuable bench player J.J. Redick is a restricted free agent this summer, too. But Smith is not looking to make wholesale changes. [...] Orlando’s ownership has given Smith the green light to go into the luxury tax to keep the team together, and the Magic will be paying tax for the foreseeable future. He already has a general sense of how much the Magic can spend next season. That overarching plan is why Smith has the freedom to do as much or as little as he chooses to alter the roster going into next season. And it also gives him the final say on everything. So, at least for the moment, he’s immune to player grousing about minutes or contracts; there is no room between him and [Stan] Van Gundy.”
- Ben Q Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post offers commentary on Smith’s comments to Aldridge.