The Orlando Magic and Insurance Office of America (IOA) announced today a new, multi-year relationship, in which IOA will receive entitlement to the Founders Level of the new Amway Center. Opening in the fall of 2010, the facility, which will be operated by the City of Orlando and owned by 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.
In addition to receiving entitlement to the Founders Level, which will be referred to as the “Insurance Office of America Founders Level” or “IOA Founders Level,” IOA will also have naming rights to the three hospitality/meeting room spaces, naming rights to three Hardwood Suites and branding on all collateral and directional signage. The Founders Level at the Amway Center includes 32 Founders Suites with seats that begin 19 rows from the floor. Complete with concierge service and suite attendants to cater to the specific needs of each individual party, Founders Level patrons will experience legendary customer service while never missing a minute of the action.
The IOA Hardwood Suites will offer a completely new meeting experience for Central Florida business leaders. With their executive level décor and service and a view of all of the action in the bowl, the area can accommodate up to 30 people and is available for all Magic home games and potentially for non-Magic events. The IOA Hospitality Rooms offer an opportunity for guests and corporations to host events, receptions or meetings in a more sizeable environment, with accommodations for up to 60 in the space.
Via the Orlando Magic:
The Orlando Magic announced partial ticket plans for the 2010-11 season are now on sale to the general public.
There are numerous options to choose from and all partial plans feature top NBA opponents, including the Miami Heat, L.A. Lakers and Boston Celtics. Some details about the particular partial plans include:
Two 22-Game Plans:
- White 22-Game Plan: Guarantee your seats to see the L.A. Lakers and Boston Celtics
- Blue 22-Game Plan: Guarantee your seats to see opening night, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat
Three 15-Game Plans:
- Jameer Nelson 15-Game Plan: Guarantee your seats to see the L.A. Lakers and Boston Celtics
- Dwight Howard 15-Game Plan: Guarantee your seats to see the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat
- Rashard Lewis 15-Game Plan: Guarantee your seats to see opening night, 13 weekend games and the Miami Heat
Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images
In Hardaway’s eyes, his reputation in Orlando never fully recovered from the dark cloud of Hill’s firing. He was accused of leading the team’s mutiny against Hill.
“He was the captain at the time. But there was 16 guys in the room that voted, it wasn’t just Penny Hardaway,” said Nick Anderson, a friend and former teammate of Hardaway’s. “But everything came down on him because he was the captain. That was totally unfair.
Anderson said Hardaway was always someone who cared deeply about others’ opinions of him. So he struggled to accept the public’s negative reaction.
“Everytime I went back to Orlando they booed me pretty much off the Brian Hill situation,” Hardaway said. “I tried to reach out to Brian Hill and he would never return my calls and I thought that was pretty odd because all I wanted to do was explain to him. I never got a chance to talk to him personally about it. And I had to deal with it.”
But in some ways, Hardaway never came back. [...]
“I’ve moved on from it, but there isn’t any closure because I haven’t spoken to Mr. [Rich] DeVos or Bob Vander Weide and they knew what kind of guy I was,” Hardaway said. “I just would really love to speak to those guys. I’ve told [current GM] Otis Smith this before that it’s not going to be right with the fans until the organization makes it right with the fans.”
Attempts to reach Smith for a response were unsuccessful as he was on a scheduled vacation. [Pat] Williams said no one in the Magic organization holds a grudge.
Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images
Here’s another installment of the Magic Basketball Mailbag.
What are the chances J.J. provides such consistent production that he no longer becomes “overpaid”?
Medium to high.
People may think that J.J. Redick had the infamous “contract” year when he put up career-high numbers across the board this season. But to be honest, Redick’s new-found success didn’t come out of nowhere. In Redick’s first three years in the NBA, he showed bits and pieces of the excellent role player that he finally became in his fourth season. Once head coach Stan Van Gundy finally developed trust in Redick, most notably in the 2009 NBA Playoffs, that’s when things took off for him. Redick’s confidence soared, knowing that he earned consistent minutes off the bench and wasn’t going to get yanked at the first sign of trouble.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Like everyone else, coach Stan Van Gundy has heard and read the scuttlebutt that connects the dots between the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets all-star point guard Chris Paul. “Much ado about nothing,” Van Gundy said, turning to Shakespeare or maybe Seinfeld. All you need to know is this: Van Gundy doesn’t expect that General Manager Otis Smith will interrupt Van Gundy’s on-going tour of major-league ballparks any time soon to prepare him for a long-shot blockbuster trade. As far as the Magic are concerned — Smith labels the Paul saga as “rumors” — they just happen to be caught up in the speculation. Paul hasn’t publicly demanded to be traded, but according to various sources in various news outlets, he wants out ASAP, and the Magic are his preferred destination.”
- Shannon J. Owens of the Orlando Sentinel with a must-read article about Penny Hardaway: “For three successful seasons, Hardaway won the approval of fans and even helped guide the Magic to its first NBA Finals, an accomplishment that would take over a decade to repeat. A trio of circumstances soon soured Hardaway’s career in Orlando: O’Neal’s departure, Brian Hill’s firing as head coach and devastating knee injuries. In Hardaway’s eyes, his reputation in Orlando never fully recovered from the dark cloud of Hill’s firing. He was accused of leading the team’s mutiny against Hill.”
- Should the Orlando Magic retire the jerseys of Shaquille O’Neal and Hardaway? UPDATE: I touched on this never-ending topic last year at OPP.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post sets the record straight on Vince Carter‘s contract: “For clarification’s sake, we should note that Carter’s contract doesn’t expire next summer, nor is it a team option. It’s what one might term as a “semi-expiring” deal. Yes, it can end next summer, but it’ll come at a price. Carter has a partially guaranteed deal for the 2011/12 season. If he is not waived before June 30, 2011, Carter’s salary of $18.3 million becomes fully guaranteed; if he is waived by the above date, he pockets $4 million and becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The $4 million figure will stay on his team’s cap for that year.”
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse doesn’t think the Magic will be able to land Chris Paul if they are asked to take on Emeka Okafor’s contract, as well.
- Orlando is ready to reload.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
The Orlando Magic officially lost Matt Barnes to free-agency [on Thursday night], as the journeyman signed with the L.A. Lakers just after 11 PM on the East Coast. Magic fans have had a few days to prepare for losing Barnes, whom they grew to love during his lone season in pinstripes, but he’s gone for good now.
So if you’re looking for a way to cope, I humbly suggest writing a haiku tribute to Barnes.
Without further ado, here’s my submission. I admit it’s not the greatest haiku in the world but as they say, it’s the effort that counts.
ball fake on Kobe;
wanted son’s dirty diaper
in Odom’s mouth
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Orlando Magic have replaced the New York Knicks as the top team on Chris Paul’s list of preferred destinations, according to league sources.
Paul believes the Magic, with Dwight Howard, would be a better fit for him. Also, Paul realizes the Magic have more to offer New Orleans in a trade and therefore views it as a more realistic landing spot.
Here’s my brief commentary on the Chris Paul rumors.
- Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “It’s unlikely Matt Barnes will actually kill you … probably. But the idea sure made for some funny T-Shirts. Little else needs to be said about Barnes’ impact on the basketball court than the fact that those T-shirts, complete with a menacing picture of his face, exist. Barnes was the [Orlando] Magic’s tough guy last season. An antagonist to some of the league’s best players. It was how he contributed even while struggling offensively. Barnes, who opted out of the second year of his contract with the Magic this summer, will play for the Los Angeles Lakers next season. Salary cap issues won’t get in the way of this deal.”
- Make sure to check out Matt Barnes’ top five greatest hits.
- Trey Kerby of Ball Don’t Lie: I don’t know if you guys realize it, but we’re pretty close to entering a new era in the NBA. No, not the superteam era kicked off by the Miami Heat, though that’s happening too. Rather, I’m talking about a Shaquille O’Neal-free NBA for the first time since 1993. That’s pre-Justin Bieber being born, people. It’s kind of like a big deal. [...] It’s hard to even imagine what an NBA without the league’s biggest goofball would be like, but after scoring just a shade more than 600 points last year it wouldn’t be terribly surprising. Shaq’s one remaining skill is being huge, and while he’s very good at that, he doesn’t have a lot left to offer. Some post scoring, sure, but that often comes at the expense of a free-flowing offense. And let’s not even consider defense, since Shaq doesn’t.”
- More on O’Neal’s struggles to land with a team in the NBA.
- Eric Freeman of The Baseline chimes in on Barnes joining the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Beware the perils of cap space. Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated explains: “Over two decades of unrestricted free agency, the results have been recklessly disappointing for teams with major cap space. Shaquille O’Neal remains the only major free agent to win a championship with his new club, having won three championships for the Lakers after signing as a free agent in 1996. Four years after Shaq went to Los Angeles, Orlando thought it would be able to recruit Tim Duncan but wound up instead with Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill, whose injuries prevented the Magic from moving past the first round. Now the Heat hope they have created a dynasty around James, Wade and Bosh; even if it works, they will be the exception to the rule. Free agency rarely works out as planned.”
- Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus looks back at blockbuster trades involving superstars that were busts. At No. 1 is the Magic, when they infamously traded Tracy McGrady to the Houston Rockets and didn’t get much to show for it.
- A look at Dwight Howard‘s poor free-throw shooting.
- Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie thinks Barnes will have “the time of his life” with the Lakers.
- Want to give Barnes a proper send-off? Write a haiku at Orlando Pinstriped Post.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Free-agent forward Matt Barnes has signed a two-year, $3.6 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Lakers announced Thursday night Barnes had officially signed the contract. League sources said the deal will pay him $1.7 million next season and give him a player option for $1.9 million in 2011-12.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had guaranteed $7 million over two years with a team option for a third season, but Barnes wanted more guaranteed money to sign with a non-championship contender. Cleveland refused to improve its offer and ultimately was willing to let Barnes go to a lower bidder.