Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic
“With Pat Williams at the helm, did you really think the Orlando Magic were going to lose the ping pong battle? Williams is like a talisman next to a rabbit’s foot in the pocket of a voodoo priest simultaneously sticking pins in makeshift dolls of the other 13 teams.”
That’s when I jinxed the Magic. Those were the opening 44 words of the 500 or so I wrote thinking there was no way the Magic, your Magic, weren’t getting the top pick.
Then that pesky Gilbert boy with the glasses — like he lives across the BQE from me in Williamsburg — and the ho-hum Cleveland Cavaliers, aka we’re getting to the playoffs next near bro, got the pick. No, I kid. That dude is awesome.
But the rest of the Cleveland contingent decked out in annoying bow ties got all Hootie and Blowfish after Cleveland grabbed the top spot, and it became abundantly clear Dan Gilbert never taught his kids the proper respect in a place of such revelry. There’s an etiquette, and if you don’t think Kevin Love and Damian Lillard weren’t throwing shade their way, you weren’t paying attention.
I’d like to talk about the hand tattoos on the boy?, man?, sitting next to Gilbert (older son?, nephew outta Juvie?), but we’ll leave that for the fellas over here. Congrats guys, now [insert something mean about Kyrie Irving getting injured more than his Uncle Drew iteration].
Williams’ magic (YES, MAGIC!) wasn’t enough even after he brought that lucky miniature super something he got from his niece (I was recording the draft, but forgot to record the audio and I can’t even remember if it was his niece who gave him the good luck charm). Needless to say, if Pat is back next year, he should just let his very presence be the good luck charm. It’s all he needs.
With just a 25 percent chance at landing the No. 1 pick, and a 64.3 percent chance they’d land in the top three, I’d say Orlando did OK. Maybe I’ll blame the bad juju on one former Magic Basketball contributor who decided to put the Magic at the No. 2 spot for teams that Nerlens Noel should be happy to join.
You’ll be hearing more from us about who Orlando should take in the No. 2 spot (rhymes with that doofy Seattle rapper who likes thrift shops), or whether Orlando should trade down). For now, I’m gonna go ahead and find a reason to use the HUZZAH! HUZZAH! HUZZAH!* eruption I’d planned on using if the Magic had gotten the top spot.
Whether this was part of some NBA conspiracy, or — as a lot of people were pointing out on Twitter — whether this was Stern appeasing those poe wittle Cleveland fans who lost MEGABRON, doesn’t matter. Orlando doesn’t have the top pick in the NBA draft. Orlando has the second pick. But you know what? That’s totally OK! This is when we discuss the down draft, and as the estimable leader of this fine site rightfully pointed out, if the Magic are going to win a draft lottery, it’s better that it’s next years (Wiggins or Parker, #WhoYouGot).
And the No. 2 pick ain’t nothing to slouch towards Bethlehem about. A brief list of notable number 2 picks (if you Google it, you know Bleacher Report will have the first five results): Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, Kevin “The Mensch” Durant, The Pearl, The Logo, and even the GOAT. No not him, but HIM. So second picks are pretty good, and that’s why Orlando should feel optimistic even though it would have been cool for the franchise to go 4-for-4** with Pat.
This past season was pretty awful in Orlando. The team lost as many games at it did in Doc Rivers’ (DOC RIVERS!) last season before heading north. Yeah, that was before he became a real coach. Pshaw. I was just so sure Pat would wave his magic (MAGIC!) wand and the Magic would have the top pick. But again, it wasn’t meant to be. After 30 minutes, it’s now OK to be happy about the outcome.
Don’t mourn Magic fans, your team did just fine, and you know, even though Wendy Peppercorn will probably kiss Dan Gilbert’s son Nick tonight, that doesn’t mean Orlando won’t be the belle of the ball soon, too.
*Meriwether Lewis and William Clark screamed this in unison after finally arriving home from their Expedition. The more you know.
**Not to be confused with Moses Malone’s “Fo Fo Fo” prediction.