Since the Magic acquired Arron Afflalo one word has described him: professional.
Afflalo is the kind of player that has had to work for everything he has had. He ducks his head, gets his work done and talks about the team first. That has been the experience with him in a Magic uniform. His soft-spoken nature certainly does not let you into some of the trials from his past.
Coming from Compton, Calif., there were a lot of pitfalls that Afflalo could have fallen into and prevented him from achieving his NBA dreams. Afflalo's work ethic was very much built from having to have the tunnel vision to make his dreams come true.
Peer reaction to Afflalo's decision to focus his life to achieving a dream and rising out of an impoverished area ran the gamut. Jealousy was present. Admiration was present. It was all there. Afflalo was never distracted and he went for and achieved his dreams.
it is always to good to be reminded where Afflalo came from and what he had to overcome.
In the upcoming issue of ESPN the Magazine, Elena Bergeron sat down with rapper Kendrick Lamar, who writes about watching Afflalo in high school in his song, "Black Boy Fly." In some of the lyrics that Bergeron discussed with Lamar and Afflalo, Lamar explains the angst and inspiration Afflalo provided to an entire school.
We didn't know anybody that went to the NBA out of Compton. That was huge. But it was bittersweet. Of course I'm going to be happy for him. It was more about how it reflected on the rest of us. Where were we going?
Afflalo is still out with a bruised knee and it is unclear when he might make his return to the lineup. He is having a career year in his bigger role and has truly been a professional in dealing with a young roster in transition. While clearly frustrated with all the losing, Afflalo still is doing what he does -- puts his head down and does his work.