Adam Silver was made available to the media while the Magic were in Atlanta and the Magic media contingent asked the deputy commissioner and commissioner in waiting his thoughts on how Dwight Howard exited Orlando (h/t Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel):
It's an unfortunate circumstance," Silver answered. "I don't want to sugarcoat it. It's been that way since the beginning of time, certainly since the beginning of this league. In this league in particular, superstar players have enormous leverage. We talked about, in the collective bargaining negotiations, how we can put teams in an optimal position where that doesn't happen, and that is by giving teams the opportunity to offer longer-term contracts and greater amounts of money per year.
But, ultimately, players do have the right to become free agents and to move. Dwight did have several good years in Orlando. [The Magic] played at the highest level, obviously in The Finals. And it's not the way we like to see it happen, but on the other hand, there were negotiations with powerful players' unions and both sides have positions. I think at this point the Magic are making the best of the situation and are in rebuilding mode. That's something that teams around the league have had to face.
Maurice Harkless has really turned heads for the Magic. He is one of the more promising rookies Orlando has had in quite some time and a fantastic athlete.
Harkless was hurt during training camp and knew he was behind, but now that he is getting minutes, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel explains he is getting more comfortable:
On Tuesday night, however, Harkless went from feeling awestruck to feeling like he belonged.
He scored 10 points, collected seven rebounds and blocked four shots — three of them against Anthony.
"It's just a start for him," coach Jacque Vaughn said. "He'll continue to get better. No added pressure. I just want him to play basketball and keep things simple."
Harkless, a 6-foot-8 small forward, has spent the past month and a half playing catch-up.
Harkless is already becoming a fan favorite and everyone cannot wait to see what he does next.
Inevitably, we all knew this would be a question the Magic would face as they try to pick up the pieces and build back up toward a championship. What is your stanceon tanking?
Orlando's 2-0 start was the pleasant surprise of the first full week of the season. But it is perhaps a little too good. The Magic are in the build through the draft game and the best way to assure success in doing that is to lose and get more ping pong balls for the Lottery. Every win, one can argue, is one less ping pong ball in the hopper.
This is the very question that Matt Moore and Zach Harper asked on the CBS NBA Podcast on Monday. The two debated the merits of what the Magic are doing in defying the odds.
Harper suggests the best thing for Orlando to do is to lose close games so the young players can get a taste of the NBA, but the team maintains its draft status. Neither clearly believes what the Magic are doing in the early part of the season is sustainable. But they later say that they would like nothing more than for the Magic to make the Playoffs and advance further than the Lakers as a giant expletive directed at Dwight Howard.
Unfortunately that early-season us-against-the-world mentality is likely to die at some point and the reality of this team may then set in.
What do you think? What is best for this team?
A little comedy to start off our Opening Day. The NOC found a way to represent every fan in the NBA through this video (h/t Sekou Smith of NBA Hangtime Blog).
I must admit, I would love to do the Magic fan suggestion. I have the Penny jersey... I just need a girlfriend (sad face...).