- Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com: “While most NBA players spend time on vacation with family and friends, participate in worldwide basketball camps and charity events and prepare for training camp by expending energy in the weight room, some are in still in serious competition on the hardwood. Marcin Gortat, for example, is one of them. Aside from his ultimate goal of helping the Orlando Magic capture their first NBA championship, the Polish Hammer is in the midst of trying to lead his home country to EuroBasket 2011. After a disappointing opening qualifying game against Georgia on Monday, Poland rebounded to earn a convincing 86-64 triumph over Portugal on Thursday. Gortat registered a game-high 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and added 11 rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard may have the nickname Superman, but even his busy summer plans can be altered by an unexpected detour. Howard’s participation in the current Basketball without Borders camp in Senegal has been cancelled, an NBA official told the Orlando Sentinel this morning. Howard’s flight from Washington, D.C., to Senegal was cancelled Thursday night and, therefore, there would have been no way for the Orlando Magic center to arrive in Senegal any earlier than Saturday morning.”
- Marcin Gortat throwing it down with authority in a EuroBasket qualifier.
- Eric Freeman of The Baseline: “So, just to be clear, O’Neal should have gone to Orlando because it would have been a nice bookend to his career. Somehow, he wouldn’t have been an over-the-hill hired gun there, even though he would have seen even less minutes than he will in Boston with Howard and Marcin Gortat already on the roster. Because he needed to be a mentor to Howard? Is Shaq really the guy you want mentoring anyone, especially considering his issues with conditioning throughout his career? Plus, would the Magic even want him? Shaq would be a distraction and need minutes that the Magic don’t have in their frontcourt as is. The last thing they need is another high-profile player who needs at least 15 minutes per game. They’d be much better off playing Gortat and Brandon Bass instead. In Boston, Shaq will at least be on a veteran team where he clearly fits into a role. It may have been a nice story to see him return to Orlando and help them win a championship, but that’s an extreme long shot and something that Shaq has never shown himself to be capable of. He’s not good at playing the classy veteran who’s just thankful to be back where it all started.”
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