- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “As the Orlando Magic’s President and the project manager for the new Amway Center the past four years, Alex Martins can have just about any seat that he wants when the dazzling, $380 million facility throws open its doors to basketball fans on Oct. 10. Instead, Martins plans to stand that night so he can fully see the awed reactions from the patrons when they step inside a building that promises to be the most modern and technologically advanced facility in North America. The Amway Center hit another major milestone in its construction on Wednesday when superstar center Dwight Howard, local politicians and celebrities, students from the Nap Ford Community School and even Martins himself participated in the Drano Royal Flush. For 10 minutes straight, people flushed the 560 toilets in unison, operated the 430 sinks and turned the other 210 drinking fountains and showers on and off. The 875,000-square-foot facility, one that is almost three times the size of the Amway Arena that the Magic played in the previous 21 years, passed the flush test. Up next is the Magic’s Oct. 10 preseason home opener against the New Orleans Hornets and fans first chance to see that the new facility passes their eye test. Martins is eager to see the looks on the fans faces that first night when they get to fully enjoy his labor of love the past four years.”
- John Krolik and Rob Mahoney of ProBasketball wonder whether or not the “small-ball” era is over: “For example, Dwight Howard doesn’t dominate games by getting the ball on the block and making a move every time the Magic have the ball, because that’s not how things work anymore. However, his ability to guard the paint has become invaluable, because there’s no way to stop faster players from getting into the paint without fouling them on the perimeter. Offensively, Howard’s ability to turn Jameer Nelson‘s penetration into an alley-oop finish is more valuable than it would have been previously, because Jameer now penetrates more.”
- Dwight Howard’s magical moment with Kay Kellogg.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Denver Nuggets All-Star Carmelo Anthony would prefer Denver deal him to the Chicago Bulls or the New York Knicks. For this site’s purposes, the report is more interesting for which team it doesn’t mention, rather than the teams it does. Indeed, the Orlando Magic are nowhere to be found in Spears’ report, which indicates that ESPN’s panel of experts may have been onto something a few weeks ago when it didn’t list the Magic among contenders to land Anthony. Three weeks ago, Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported that the Magic topped Anthony’s list of possible trade destinations. But the talk linking Anthony to the Magic has calmed considerably since then, with teams like the New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets, L.A. Clippers–in addition to the Bulls and Knicks–appearing more prominently in the rumor mill.”
- Jameer Nelson shoots a lot like a shooting guard.
- Howard is participating in Gatorade’s REPLAY event, where “members of both the Chicago-area Bloom and Brother Rice 2000 high school basketball teams will take part in a rematch between the two schools. Sponsored by Gatorade, the pairing hopes to serve as a bit of closure after Bloom won a highly contested (both in game, and after it) 42-40 Super Sectional win, after Joe Chapman managed a tip in around (some say before, some say after) the final seconds ticked off the clock.”
- Matt Barnes, former Magic player, is in a heap of trouble with the law.