- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “Orlando Magic forward Brandon Bass doesn’t like to evaluate his career or think about how far he’s come as a player, trying to avoid satisfaction or contentment with his career. He wants to keep working, keep learning, keep improving. But even he had to grin when asked about how it feels to finally be a regular starter in the NBA. ‘I’ll tell you what was real exciting,’ Bass said, smiling. ‘When I saw my picture as the five starters on the Jumbo screen, man – I thought that was alright.’ He’s started 12 of the team’s past 13 games, and the one game he didn’t start was because of injuries to Ryan Anderson and Malik Allen. In Bass’ previous five NBA seasons, he started eight games. This is the first time Bass has been an every-game starter since college, when he starred at LSU from 2003-05.”
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Say what you want about [Stan] Van Gundy, but he’s always refreshing, the best interview in sports, along with Rex Ryan of the Jets.”
- Dwight Howard plans on bringing back the “Magic Show” — this time, it’ll be football-themed.
- Howard thinks JaVale McGee is the darkhorse in the Slam Dunk Contest this year.
- Howard reveals his New Years resolution on his blog: “That´s fine with me. As much as I like winning rebounding and block titles and the Defensive Player of the Year award, I´m really all about winning a championship. I told you guys that I was going to keep my New Year´s Day resolution a secret, but really what it is is to bring a championship to Orlando. That´s the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about before I go to bed at night. I want to win a title so bad, and I think we have the team here to do that. I just know it would be the best moment of my NBA career.”
- According to Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse, Howard is the favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year award for a third consecutive season. Here’s the rationale: “Howard’s dominance — he has led the NBA in both blocked shots and rebounding the past two seasons — has allowed Van Gundy to turn the Magic into one of the league’s best defensive teams, even with a roster filled with below-average defensive players.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy mocks the “Heatles” nickname created by LeBron James.
- One NBA writer says that the Orlando Magic are not an elite team.
- Howard is going to make an appearance on the Disney Channel on January 14.
- Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com: “Van Gundy hasn’t always handled himself perfectly in the media this year, as his outburst over some comments Phil Jackson made him sound whiny and petulant. Here, though, Van Gundy plays beautifully on the Heatles’ big flaw: the Heat haven’t always sold out their home games, and their fans don’t always show up. In the process of making his point that the Magic take care of their business in that regard, Van Gundy is elevating Magic fans above the average, indirectly drawing a divide between “real basketball fans” and “casual fans who show up for the scene.” Any time a head coach can clown the Miami Heat and pay tribute to the loyalty and consistency of his own fans in one sentence, that’s an opportunity that can’t be missed.”
Should someone tell that "one writer" we haven't been in the Atlantic Division in years. Or maybe he was saying we would finish behind both Boston and New York *if* we were still in that division? Doubtful. And he thinks we're going to finish behind Atlanta? Someone needs to keep Uncle Charlie away from the egg nog and rum. The egg nog is expired.
And we're "also-rans"? Two years in a row we've been one of the last four teams standing, one of those years among the last two. The Magic are not the Hawks or the Trailblazers here.