Friday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Mar 16

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Head coach Stan Van Gundy on when he heard the news about Dwight Howard: “It was probably a little bit before the press conference. So I don’t know. Maybe noontime [or] a little bit after. I don’t really remember. I was doing my New Jersey film. I don’t really remember exactly. It was a big moment for our organization, but it wasn’t like the JFK moment where everybody remembers what they were doing, you know? It wasn’t quite that big.”
  • Jason Richardson will play in tonight’s game against the New Jersey Nets. Richardson missed the previous three games with a sprained left ankle, which he suffered against the Chicago Bulls on March 8.
  • Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News labels Dwight a coward.
  • The Orlando Magic played hardball with Dwight, learning from their lessons dealing with Shaquille O’Neal and his pending free agency in 1996.
  • With Dwight now becoming a free agent in 2013, the Dallas Mavericks loom in the background.
  • LZ Granderson of ESPN.com contends that, by waffling with his decision on staying with the Magic or not, Dwight is not a leader: “He may always be the best player on his club, but as he clumsily demonstrated during much of the season, he’s doesn’t necessarily have the best personality to handle that kind of pressure.”
  • By keeping Dwight around for one more year, Orlando made one of the best moves of the trade deadline.
  • For the Magic, improving the roster around Dwight is still the top priority. Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post, with a stellar article, determines if Orlando can land a player like Chris Paul in free agency in 2013.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk:They kept Dwight Howard in town by calling his bluff. That is as big a win as anybody — except that it is a one-year deal, he’s not opting out early but if the Magic don’t make moves to get this team competing with the Heat and Bulls by next trade deadline we will be right back here. That said, today they celebrate.”
  • By keeping Dwight, the Magic now officially pose a threat to the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference.
  • Senior vice president Pat Williams on Dwight: “Dwight has such deep roots here and that’s what we all need to understand. He’s engaged with numerous charities, cares deeply, it’s not just that he writes a check, he goes and spends time with these disadvantaged young people. He has a great heart for people and his roots are deep in Orlando. I think the thought of pulling that up and ripping it out was something that he just couldn’t really live with in the final analysis.”
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com on Dwight standing up for himself: “Howard’s been searching his entire career for a way to stand out, to be different, to step out of the shadow of his contemporaries and do something that Shaquille O’Neal, the player Howard always will be compared to, didn’t do. On Thursday, by staying right where he was, he finally accomplished that. At least for a little while. At least until next time.”
  • It’s only apt, after Dwight was nearly traded to the Nets at the deadline, he plays against them tonight at Amway Center in front of the city of Orlando.
  • Talk about Dwight’s future is delayed for now.
  • Ethan Sherwood Strauss of CourtVision with a valid question in response to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski’s coverage of Dwight: “Did Howard ‘flake out’ or did these sources ultimately prove flaky? It does not bother me that this anonymous information occasionally misses; it bothers me that there is no social memory when this happens.”
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