Wednesday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Dec 07

Wednesday’s Magic Word

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Howard knows that the Magic, as assembled, are not legitimate contenders. They don’t have the assets to appease Paul’s or Deron Williams’ team, either. The Magic are trying to romance Dwight with a promise, and a lot more money. Vander Weide told me that Howard can make $30 million in the fifth year of an extension in the new CBA — much more than he can make elsewhere. This will be different than the Shaq debacle of 15 years ago, when a young, naïve franchise was led on by O’Neal and then low-balled him out of the gate. Smith and Martins made it abundantly clear that if Dwight wants out, it’s on Dwight, not the franchise. Back in the day, Shaq spun it the other way. Vander Weide vowed that the DeVos family will not allow Howard to walk without compensation, as Shaq did.”
  • From scooping Italian ice at Giants Stadium to becoming the CEO of the Orlando Magic, Alex Martins’ journey has been an interesting one.
  • Magic players are getting ready for training camp on Friday.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Team officials said Vander Weide’s retirement has been planned for months and has nothing to do with Howard’s uncertain long-term future with the team or with a recent late-night phone conversation between Vander Weide and Howard. Vander Weide said he determined that his workload, which included memberships on two key NBA committees, had started to wear on him about a year ago.”
  • Deadspin somehow made its way into Vander Weide’s press conference today.
  • Chris Paul billboards are all around the city of Orlando.
  • What does Vander Weide stepping down mean for the Magic?
  • John Denton of “Martins said all of the pieces are in place for the Magic to once again contend for a championship this season, which will begin on Dec. 25 with Orlando at Oklahoma City in the nationally televised opener. Training camp opens on Dec. 9 with the Magic playing two exhibition games against the Miami Heat (Dec. 18 in Miami and Dec. 21 in Orlando). Martins feels that with Howard as the team’s anchor at center that Orlando can be a force in the Eastern Conference once again.”
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post has a must-read breakdown of what took place at Vander Weide’s press conference earlier today.
  • Andrew Lynch of Hardwood Paroxysm: “What initially struck me as an awesome introduction to the new season for my favorite team now taunts me and flaunts the transient nature of this season in my face. Every visit to or from Orlando is a similar circumstance, potentially turned upside-down by the mighty hand of Otis Smith. Unless it’s turned right-side up again, 360-style, by the mighty hand of Otis Smith pulling the trigger on a Chris Paul-to-Orlando deal that might or might not be possible because SOURCES!”
  • What’s the most interesting game we won’t see in the 2011-2012 regular season? Devin Kharpertian of Nets Are Scorching has an answer: “A two-way tie between Carmelo Anthony avoiding Denver in the “We’re Better Off Without You” game and Dwight Howard avoiding Los Angeles in the “Please, Please, Please Come Play For Us” game (for either Los Angeles team). Force my hand, and the Howard game gets a slight edge, if only because the Denver game can still happen next season.”
  • Dwight Howard isn’t on the move for now.
  • Orlando appears to be interested in Jamal Crawford.
  • Has head coach Stan Van Gundy been questioning Howard’s leadership?
  • Steve Aschburner of thinks the Magic could be a surprise team in the NBA this season if they manage to keep Howard around: “One obvious answer is Orlando. If the Magic not only hang onto Howard but acquire someone who might convince their MVP candidate to stick around long-term, they continue as an East contender. If not, they’ll be counting the days till they get lottery lucky again.”
  • scribes try to predict Howard’s future whereabouts.