Sneak Preview: Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic | Magic Basketball

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Feb 16

Sneak Preview: Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic

AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove

  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “Pat Williams has always been the ultimate optimist. He’s always been the impossible dreamer. He’s always been the Magic man who could transform a no-horse town into an NBA city and turn little pingpong balls into mega-superstars. There’s a plaque hanging next to some flowers out by his swimming pool: ‘Plant smiles. Grow giggles. Harvest Love.’ He’s written dozens of inspirational books. He’s recited hundreds of philosophical quotes. He’s given thousands of motivational speeches. But now, more than ever, the dreamer and the doer who brought professional sports to Orlando must mobilize every bit of positivity and promotional passion he can muster. Except this time, he must motivate himself for what will be his biggest challenge yet. Pat Williams has bone cancer. ‘I’ve delivered many a motivational speech about the stuff you always hear about in sports,’ says Williams, the founder and executive vice president of the Orlando Magic. ‘I’ve stood up there and told other people you can’t give up and you’ve got to show courage, perseverance and will. Now, I get to live out the things I always talk about. That’s a privilege.’ ”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “He may have to settle instead for his former teammates’ laughter. Tuesday, in his first trip back to the arena he helped launch, Lewis wandered into the Orlando Magic locker room after the team had finished its practice. Everyone cracked up when they saw Lewis standing there, wearing a Washington Wizards T-shirt and shorts and a smile on his face. Lewis will not be formally introduced when the Magic host the Wizards tonight — the teams’ first meeting in Orlando since the blockbuster, mid-December trade that sent him to Washington for Gilbert Arenas. A sore right knee kept Lewis out of Washington’s last two games and almost certainly will prevent him from playing tonight. ‘It most definitely would’ve been a lot of fun to come back and play in front of the fans,’ Lewis said. The fans’ best chance to honor him may arise if Amway Center’s jumbotron flashes his image during a stoppage in play.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Orlando Magic Senior Vice President Pat Williams is a man who has climbed to the top of his profession in multiple sports, he’s written more than 70 books, he’s run in dozens of marathons and he’s raised 19 children. Now, Williams hopes to attack a form of blood and bone marrow cancer with the same zeal that he has attacked every mission in life. Williams, the man credited with bringing the Magic franchise to Orlando, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma two weeks ago and underwent his fourth chemotherapy on Tuesday. Williams, 70, said some irregularities in his blood were found during an early January physical examination and his care was ultimately turned over to Dr. Robert Reynolds, one of the area’s leading hematology and oncology experts. Williams said doctors feel they caught the disease early and that they have already started treating it aggressively.”
  • Michael Lee of The Washington Post: “Nick Young got humbled in his last meeting with Gilbert Arenas, when Arenas used nearly every trick in his arsenal to take the Wizards’ leading scorer out his game. Arenas roughed him up, snuck in some elbows, nudged him, and talked enough trash that at least three sanitation trucks needed to clean up afterward. Young missed 13 of 20 shots and scored just 17 points as the Wizards lost 110-91 on Feb. 4. Arenas gloated afterward that he knew Young’s game too well to let him get the upper hand. After the Wizards practiced at Amway Center on Tuesday, Young said he wouldn’t fall into the trap again and that he tried to avoid Arenas in the days leading up to the rematch. Arenas has been calling and texting, ‘but I ain’t been answering,’ Young said. ‘I pretty much learned from that game not to get caught up in the games with him. That’s what he do. He think he can take me out of my game.’ When told about Young’s desires not to go back and forth this time around, Arenas lowered his head and chuckled. ‘That’s a lie. He was with me yesterday. He was with me last night,’ Arenas said, unable to contain his laughter. ‘He was my Valentine.’ ”
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