Not McGrady’s best game in a Magic uniform, but a great one nonetheless. Click here for Part II.
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Shaquille O’Neal’s career should have had the perfect fairytale ending.
He should be finishing his NBA career where he started it all those years ago — right here in Orlando, trying to help the Magic win that elusive championship.
He could have gone out as a hero here. He could have been a mentor and a backup to Dwight Howard. He could have announced his retirement at the end of a ticker-tape parade in the city he and his mother still call home.
Instead, he will end his career as an over-the-hill hired gun in Boston, where he was signed for a minimum salary by the Celtics — a big, burly insurance policy mostly to provide six fouls against Howard and the Lakers’ big men. [...]
Now that he’s in Boston, you just wonder how long it will take Shaq to say something disparaging about Bill Russell or irk coach Doc Rivers with his selfishness and laziness. Prediction: The Celtics may be happy Shaq is coming to town, but they will be even happier when he leaves town in two years.
The Orlando Magic announced today a new, multi-year relationship with Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando, Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, Mercedes-Benz of Melbourne and Mercedes-Benz of Daytona. Through the partnership, premium season ticket holders will have access to the all-new Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge during Magic home games in the new Amway Center. Opening in the fall of 2010, the facility, which will be owned and operated by the City of Orlando on behalf of the Central Florida community, will compete to host major national events, concerts and family shows and serve as the new home of the Orlando Magic.
Located on the Event Level of the Amway Center near the Orlando Magic locker room, the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge presents its patrons with unprecedented access to Magic players as they enter and exit the court, as well as an exclusive view of the opposing team. The space, which is over 13,000-square feet, allows members ample room to mingle while enjoying all-inclusive food and beverage and premium amenities, such as a full-service bar, seating and dining areas and visual access to both locker room areas. The Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge can be accessed only by courtside ticket holders and superstar season ticket holders in the first seven rows from the floor. [...]
In addition to the entitlement of the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge, Mercedes-Benz will also have a permanent vehicle display on the Terrace Level next to the concierge area at the Amway Center, vehicle displays at Fan Fest on select dates, an in-market promotion during the season and special events sponsored by the local Mercedes-Benz dealerships: Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando, Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, Mercedes-Benz of Melbourne, and Mercedes-Benz of Daytona.
Via the Orlando Magic:
The Mothers of Professional Basketball Players (MPBP) square off against the Professional Football Players Mothers Association (PFPMA) in the first-ever “Hoopin’ for Health” Charity Basketball Game on Saturday, August 7 at 6 p.m. at Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the United Negro College Fund.
The charity game will be held during the 2010 MPBP Annual Conference, scheduled for August 5-8 in Orlando, Fla. Tickets for the game are $10 and available now in advance through the UNCF Office (1080 Woodcock Road, Suite 280, Orlando, Fla. 32803) and Hope Church (Columbia Street and John Young Parkway) or at the door on game day. For additional ticket information, please call the UNCF Office at (407) 896-6940.
Orlando basketball stars Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis and former pro football stars Eddie George and Kenard Lang will serve as game referees. Former Pittsburgh great Jerome “The Bus” Bettis will provide commentary during the game.
In addition to raising money for the United Negro College Fund, both organizations are uniting in the mission to inspire women of all ages to become more active and mindful of weight related illness such as heart disease.
Seriously. Some of these shots by Tracy McGrady are flat-out absurd. Note the reverse layup.
Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images
Given that today’s topic at Magic Basketball centers around Tracy McGrady, I wanted to shed light on a post I wrote at Orlando Pinstriped Post nearly a year and a half ago. I’ve written thousands of posts since I started covering the Orlando Magic almost two years ago, and this is one of my all-time favorite pieces because it pertains to Grant Hill and the ‘what if?’ scenario.
Here’s a snippet:
For Orlando Magic fans, the mere utterance of the name naturally provokes a myriad of emotions to come out. However, there is one emotion that I want to capture. Curiosity.
By definition, curiosity is the state of wanting to learn more about something.
In the case of Hill, I’ve been curious of one thing. What if Hill was completely healthy during his tenure in Orlando. What would the end result be, for both him and the team? I always thought of the scenario in my brain, but I could never come up with any type of empirical data “on paper” to see how things would have played out for the Magic (mea culpa). Sure, I knew that the team would improve its performance on the court with a healthy, in-his-prime Grant Hill paired with a budding superstar in Tracy McGrady, but by how much? What could have Orlando fans expected to see from their squad? When the Magic front office invested in both Hill & McGrady, what could the maximum returns have been?
Well, I can say that I am able to provide answers to all those questions.
Click here to read the rest.
Reuters/John C. Hillery
A picture is worth a thousand words.
In this case, it’s a photo of failure and unfortunately for Tracy McGrady, it’s perhaps the lasting image of his time with the Orlando Magic. The players sitting next to McGrady, aside from Darrell Armstrong, are none other than Pat Garrity and Shawn Kemp — each embodying the word that defined the McGrady era in Orlando for three seasons until the bottom fell out in 2004. Average, if not worse.
And no Grant Hill.
McGrady will forever be criticized as someone that didn’t lead “his” team past the first round of the playoffs, even though the Magic were always the underdogs and never the favorites in each of their matchups (granted, the first round series against the Charlotte Hornets in 2002 was a toss-up).
This isn’t about the Houston Rockets, mind you. This is about Orlando and this is about McGrady playing in his hometown. This is about a player that did everything humanly possible to make the Magic a competitive squad, despite a supporting cast that was a joke and the lack of help from Hill due to his injuries.
Given McGrady’s situation, it seems like people forget how good he was in his prime. McGrady was a top five player in the league with Orlando, without a doubt, and Magic fans were truly blessed to witness him at his zenith. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but McGrady knew how to put on a show.
How good was McGrady and how bad was his supporting cast?
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Via the Orlando Magic:
The National Basketball Association tonight released a number of highlight games for the upcoming 2010-11 season. The games, announced on NBA TV, are the nationally televised games for opening week, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The Orlando Magic will open the 2010-11 regular season at the new Amway Center on Thursday, October 28 against Washington. Tip-off is 8 p.m. and the game will be nationally televised by TNT.
Other games involving the Magic announced tonight are:
- Friday, October 29 @ Miami (8 p.m., ESPN)
- Saturday, December 25 vs. Boston (2:30 p.m., ABC)
- Monday, January 17 @ Boston (8 p.m., TNT)
Orlando’s game on December 25 marks its third consecutive appearance on Christmas Day and eighth overall. The entire 2010-11 regular season schedule will be announced by the NBA on Tuesday, August 10.