- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “As the Orlando Magic’s President and the project manager for the new Amway Center the past four years, Alex Martins can have just about any seat that he wants when the dazzling, $380 million facility throws open its doors to basketball fans on Oct. 10. Instead, Martins plans to stand that night so he can fully see the awed reactions from the patrons when they step inside a building that promises to be the most modern and technologically advanced facility in North America. The Amway Center hit another major milestone in its construction on Wednesday when superstar center Dwight Howard, local politicians and celebrities, students from the Nap Ford Community School and even Martins himself participated in the Drano Royal Flush. For 10 minutes straight, people flushed the 560 toilets in unison, operated the 430 sinks and turned the other 210 drinking fountains and showers on and off. The 875,000-square-foot facility, one that is almost three times the size of the Amway Arena that the Magic played in the previous 21 years, passed the flush test. Up next is the Magic’s Oct. 10 preseason home opener against the New Orleans Hornets and fans first chance to see that the new facility passes their eye test. Martins is eager to see the looks on the fans faces that first night when they get to fully enjoy his labor of love the past four years.”
- John Krolik and Rob Mahoney of ProBasketball wonder whether or not the “small-ball” era is over: “For example, Dwight Howard doesn’t dominate games by getting the ball on the block and making a move every time the Magic have the ball, because that’s not how things work anymore. However, his ability to guard the paint has become invaluable, because there’s no way to stop faster players from getting into the paint without fouling them on the perimeter. Offensively, Howard’s ability to turn Jameer Nelson‘s penetration into an alley-oop finish is more valuable than it would have been previously, because Jameer now penetrates more.”
- Dwight Howard’s magical moment with Kay Kellogg.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Denver Nuggets All-Star Carmelo Anthony would prefer Denver deal him to the Chicago Bulls or the New York Knicks. For this site’s purposes, the report is more interesting for which team it doesn’t mention, rather than the teams it does. Indeed, the Orlando Magic are nowhere to be found in Spears’ report, which indicates that ESPN’s panel of experts may have been onto something a few weeks ago when it didn’t list the Magic among contenders to land Anthony. Three weeks ago, Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported that the Magic topped Anthony’s list of possible trade destinations. But the talk linking Anthony to the Magic has calmed considerably since then, with teams like the New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets, L.A. Clippers–in addition to the Bulls and Knicks–appearing more prominently in the rumor mill.”
- Jameer Nelson shoots a lot like a shooting guard.
- Howard is participating in Gatorade’s REPLAY event, where “members of both the Chicago-area Bloom and Brother Rice 2000 high school basketball teams will take part in a rematch between the two schools. Sponsored by Gatorade, the pairing hopes to serve as a bit of closure after Bloom won a highly contested (both in game, and after it) 42-40 Super Sectional win, after Joe Chapman managed a tip in around (some say before, some say after) the final seconds ticked off the clock.”
- Matt Barnes, former Magic player, is in a heap of trouble with the law.
Fernando Medina, Orlando Magic
Via the Orlando Magic:
The new Amway Center in downtown Orlando met another milestone as the traditional “Royal Flush” was held September 8, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at the construction site. The purpose of the Drano “Royal Flush” event was to observe sanitary sewer flows, water consumption and pressure in and around the arena. Approximately 443 toilets were flushed simultaneously; there are 18 men’s and 19 women’s restrooms in the new Amway Center, compared to just four of each in the old facility. […]
Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard poses with the students from Nap Ford Community School for the Drano “Royal Flush”. More than 150 people participated in the event with approximately 443 toilets flushing simultaneously. The new Amway Center will have 18 men’s and 19 women’s restrooms. Overall, there are nearly 1,200 plumbing fixtures in the new Amway Center including approximately 560 toilets / urinals, 430 sinks, and 210 other-type fixtures, including drink fountains, showers, and disposals.
Make sure to read Ben Q. Rock’s retrospective look at Dwight Howard‘s career night. A must-read.
Dwight Howard will be hosting a live USTREAM fan chat this Friday, September 10 from the Gatorade REPLAY Season 3 game in Chicago where he will act as an honorary coach for the Brother Rice Crusaders. Howard will be joined by fellow honorary coach, Dwyane Wade as they answer fan questions from 6:05 – 6:20pm CST.
To give you some background on REPLAY, Gatorade is reuniting two South Side Chicago high school basketball powerhouses – Bloom and Brother Rice – whose 2000 super sectional game ended after a questionable last second tip in at the buzzer. Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade are the honorary coaches for the event, and Carlos Boozer is our game day commissioner.
USTREAM Start/End Times:
- Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard REPLAY Fan Chat: 6:05 pm – 6:20 pm
- Carlos Boozer REPLAY Half-Time Fan Chat: 8:05 – 8:15 pm
- REPLAY Post-Game Press Conference: 9:15 – 9:45 pm
- Via John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “The incurable cancer that has ravaged Kay Kellogg’s body has forced her to contemplate death much sooner than she would have preferred, but the bright and bubbly 62-year-old Orlando Magic fan has vowed that when her time’s up she will leave with a smile on her face. […] [Dwight] Howard, Orlando’s consensus All-NBA center, brought a ray of happiness to Kellogg recently when he visited her at her Orlando home. Kellogg was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells in the bone marrow, on Aug. 8, and unfortunately there is no long-term cure for the disease. […] Orlando’s star center has been a busy man this summer, twice traveling to China for Adidas and an acting role in a basketball movie. He also was in India as part of a promotional tour for the NBA and he’s been in New York and Los Angeles filming a television show and recording a children’s music album. But upon hearing Kellogg’s story, Howard made it a point to visit one of his biggest fans. Howard was scheduled to stay at Kellogg’s house for 30 minutes, but ended up hanging around for almost two hours. The two of them talked cooking, free throw shooting and life. Kellogg said she avoided talking about her cancer diagnosis, but she was touched at how Howard’s mood shifted from playful to serious when she would grimace because of pain in her body.”
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk thinks Adonal Foyle is the perfect man for the job as the director of player development for the Orlando Magic.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that EA has released the rosters for Eastern Conference teams in the new version of the NBA Jam videogame. Vince Carter, Dwight Howard, and Rashard Lewis are the Orlando Magic players available, though the team also boasts two legends in Nick Anderson and Scott Skiles. Today, our question is simple: which potential combination–remember, NBA Jam is a two-on-two, arcade-style game–of Magic players are you most excited to use in the new game? There are ten possible combinations, and I’ve listed each in the poll attached to this post.”
- Go vote at OPP!
- More on the good three-point shooter/bad free-throw shooter phenomenon from Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference: “I always felt that FT% is the best indicator of pure shooting form, since unless the player resorts to a gimmicky, Rick Barry-style approach, it’s just him, his mechanics, and a basket 15 feet away. Meanwhile, 3P% can be influenced by so many more factors, depending on the player’s style of play and/or role in the offense; for instance, look at Jason Kidd’s magical transformation from a guy nicknamed “Ason” to a 43% 3-point shooter (!!!) in Dallas. FT% is far less dependent on contextual effects, which seems to make it a better indicator of a player’s underlying skill.”
- Trey Kerby of Ball Don’t Lie comments on the feel-good story involving Kay Kellogg and Dwight Howard: “Occasionally stories come around that push your sadness buttons just enough that your eyes get a bit misty, while at the same time the same story activates your smile sensors because it’s about someone doing something good for another person. You know what I’m talking about.”
Fact or Fiction: Marcin Gortat, Vince Carter, and Brandon Bass Will Remain With the Orlando Magic Until the End of the Season
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Fact or Fiction presents both sides of key issues the Orlando Magic will face in the upcoming season.
Marcin Gortat, Vince Carter, and Brandon Bass will all finish this season in a Magic uniform.
It can be argued, even if it’s — admittedly — not the strongest argument, that the Orlando Magic are better off keeping the roster as is. Remember, the Magic were first in efficiency differential (+9.25) during the regular season last year and they bring back the same group of guys, sans Matt Barnes after he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent. The only new faces that will be in the rotation, for the time being, are Quentin Richardson and Chris Duhon. Plus, given that Richardson will likely be an upgrade from Barnes, especially on offense, and Duhon is projected to have a good season as Jameer Nelson‘s back-up, it’s safe to say that Orlando shouldn’t miss a beat. Why make a trade just for the sake of making a trade?
In the grand scheme of things, the Magic are still one of the best teams in the NBA as currently constructed. It might be in the best interest of general manager Otis Smith to leave the roster alone and let the players try again.
It’s called a second chance.
Vince Carter and Brandon Bass will get the benefit of playing in head coach Stan Van Gundy‘s system for another season. In Carter’s case, the hope is that he can develop more synergy with Dwight Howard in pick and rolls but it’s a wait-and-see approach. As for Marcin Gortat, there is the expectation is that he’ll bounce back from a sub-par year and play with more energy, as well as cut down on the turnovers — two minor issues that plagued him in 2010.
And at the end of the day, Howard must take his game to the next level if Orlando wants to win a title with their current outfit of players.
Even if the Magic were to acquire someone by trading Gortat and/or Carter and/or Bass, Howard has to open Pandora’s box on offense or else it’s a moot point.
The pressure isn’t on Gortat, Carter, or Bass to produce, which means that they may stick around even if they fail to contribute by their standards.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Her bucket list included just one item.
Kay Kellogg didn’t want to climb the Eiffel Tower. Or run a marathon. Or jump out of an airplane. She just wanted to have a nice conversation with her hero.
“Dwight Howard is just such a precious, wonderful kid,” she says. “Whenever I watch him play, he just makes me feel good inside.”
And for a woman who feels so bad inside most of the time, this is quite an accomplishment for Dwight.
You think leading the league in rebounding and blocked shots is difficult? Try leading the cancer ward in smiles elicited and hearts warmed.
Kay, 62, is sitting at her apartment Tuesday telling her story. […]
She has Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma, an aggressive cancer that searches out and destroys the blood plasma in the bone marrow. Her disease is inoperable and incurable, but her demeanor is inspiriting and uplifting.
She lives on a fixed income, but two seasons ago she decided to treat herself to Magic season tickets in the upper level. Watching Dwight play is one of the joys of her life. She showed up at nearly every game that season wearing her blue No. 12 Dwight jersey.
A few weeks ago, her daughter, Arian Clute, had an idea. She contacted the [Orlando] Magic and told them that her mother had but one wish before she died: She wanted to meet Dwight.
And, so, a few days ago, Dwight showed up at her door step. He was supposed to spend 30 minutes and ended up staying nearly two hours.
Take five minutes out of your day, and read this article.
This is about as good as it gets. Dwight Howard really is Superman.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “I assure you I have a perfectly legitimate reason for not listing this performance as the best of [Dwight] Howard‘s career. But before we get to that game, let’s first appreciate all Howard did on this particular night. Really. 45 and 19 is a heckuva line, even before considering the blocks. And he did it against Emeka Okafor, who rated 10th in the entire league in points-per-possession allowed that season, according to Synergy Sports Technology. And as the final score indicates, Orlando needed what he gave it that night. This game was close throughout, with Charlotte holding a six-point lead after the third quarter and neither team leading by more than nine points. In addition to scoring 11 of Orlando’s 27 fourth-quarter points, he gave the Magic something that didn’t show up in the stat-sheet: a bone-crushing screen on the Bobcats’ Gerald Wallace on the Magic’s final possession of regulation, which freed J.J. Redick to sink the game-tying three-pointer.”
- Why is Mickael Pietrus a bad free-throw shooter? Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook investigates: “The reason is because jump shooters spend all game shooting jump shots, that when they go to the line to take set shots, everything gets thrown off. After watching some clips of Mickael Pietrus shooting both threes and free throws, my theory was proved correct.”
- How will the 2011 NBA All-Star Game look?
- Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference takes a look at league continuity. It’s a fascinating read: “What’s the takeaway from this? Well, for one thing, the mid-to-late 1990s (and, to a lesser extent, the 2000s-2010s) were a great time for NBA job security and continuity among players. Both methods show that if you were an active player during that era, there was better than a 50-50 minute-weighted chance you’d be drawing an NBA playcheck 5 years later. As for the reasons why this was the case, anecdotally we saw stars enter the league earlier (often from high school) and enjoy more staying power thanks to modern medical practices that were absent from the league’s earlier periods. But perhaps the biggest factor was simply expansion: the NBA went from 23 teams in 1988 to 29 in 1996, providing nearly 100 new jobs to fill (and maintain) that didn’t exist in the past.”
- Trey Kerby of Ball Don’t Lie: “NBA teams love getting new arenas. Not only do they look beautiful, they also bring in a whole lot of money. Whether it be from fans wanting to check out the new digs or increased ticket prices, new stadiums are a serious revenue stream. Not to mention, state-of-the-art basketball facilities really help in free agent recruiting. Basically, a new stadium is baller status. However, when a team builds a stadium, there are a whole lot of moving pieces that need to be checked out. Imagine the home inspection on a new house, then multiply that by exactly 92,048. Quite intense, especially the bathrooms. Cool segue, I know, but if you put 20,000 people in a concrete box there better be a bunch of functioning toilets, lest things get zoological. The Orlando Magic understand all of this, so they’re putting together a really fun day for local children at their new Amway Arena.”
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse has more on the Orlando Magic’s “potty party promotion.”
Via the Orlando Magic:
The Orlando Magic have named Adonal Foyle as director of player development, President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith announced today. In his role, Foyle will provide support for the overall development of the players, act as a conduit between players and management, and give assistance to the basketball operations department.
Originally selected by Golden State in the first round (eighth overall) of the 1997 NBA Draft, Foyle (6’10”, 270, 3/9/75) appeared in 733 regular season games during his 13-year NBA career with Golden State, Orlando and Memphis, averaging 4.1 ppg., 4.7 rpg. and 1.63 blkpg. in 17.8 minpg. Foyle remains Golden State’s all-time franchise leader in blocked shots with 1,140. He spent the final three seasons of his professional career with the Magic before retiring in August 2010.
Born on March 9, 1975, Foyle grew up on the small island of Canouan (population 1,000 and 3.5 x 1.25 miles in size) and did not play organized basketball until the age of 16. During his time in the NBA, he was extremely active off the court. In the summer of 2001, Foyle founded “Democracy Matters,” a non-profit political organization that encourages grass-roots involvement in the campaign finance reform movement. Democracy Matters currently has more than 70 chapters on college, university and high school campuses in 23 different states. In 2006, he established the Kerosene Lamp Foundation, named after the type of light Foyle used to study at night on an island with no electricity, with the goal of empowering youth of the Eastern Caribbean and the United States to take control of their future. All of Foyle’s off-the-court activities can be found on his personal website – www.adonalfoyle.com.
Foyle has been inducted into both the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame and the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Hall of Fame. He also served as first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Magic fans have been pounding the HT inbox this summer arguing that their team is being left out of the conversation of title contenders this season. And they’re probably right. Most of the insiders we’ve spoken with this summer don’t hold the Magic in the same regard they did this time a year ago, when they were the reigning Eastern Conference champions and still smarting from that ’09 Finals defeat to the Lakers.
They still have the nucleus of a team that won 59 games, finished second to Cleveland in the East and had the second best overall record in the entire league. Dwight Howard is a year older and better, as is Jameer Nelson, and there aren’t any chemistry concerns for Stan Van Gundy, who won’t have to refer to the periodic table the way Doc Rivers and Erik Spoelstra will in Boston and Miami, respectively.
An underdog tag could be exactly what the Magic need to motivate them this season. And of all the teams in the East that could play spoiler to a potential Heat-Celtics battle for the top spot, no one seems better equipped to do so than Orlando.
This is a topic that will surely be revisited in the future.