Mike Bianchi says that anything less than a championship is a disappointment for Orlando.
You should be ecstatic the Magic are more interested in what happens at the end of the season than the fanfare surrounding the beginning of it. You should be giddy your team is shunning Oktoberfest and instead is planning and plotting for the biggest summer shindig this city has ever seen.
“Opening night is only one night,” Howard says. “We expect to still be playing in late June and winning the championship.”
Then and only then will the party begin.
You have to love their attitude.
You have to love their complete and utter disdain for anything and everything other than the title.
The ring’s the thing.
The only thing.
See the full story here.
Former Magic Point Guard and fan favorite Darrell Armstrong has become an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks.
DALLAS – When the Dallas Mavericks open their 2009-10 season Tuesday night at home against the Washington Wizards, Gastonia’s Darrell Armstrong begins a new frontier in his professional basketball career.
Armstrong will be a full-time NBA assistant coach after spending a half-season coaching apprenticeship last season after retiring as a player.
“It’s a great challenge to motivate these guys to do the plan you’ve come up with,” said Armstrong, a 1986 Ashbrook High graduate. “You’ve got to put a plan out there, get the players to follow and, hopefully, it goes right.”
Click here to see the full story.
Click here to read Sports Illustrated’s Magic preview.
For Magic’s Vince Carter, tonight is a true ‘home’ game at last
Orlando is finally Vince Carter’s basketball home.
For the past 11 years, Carter, 32, has played for teams in two other cities. His dream, first envisioned on the basketball blacktops of Daytona Beach, his hometown, becomes reality tonight when the eight-time all-star guard steps onto the court at Amway Arena.
Tonight’s season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers is special for Carter, who was acquired by the Magic this summer in a blockbuster trade with the New Jersey Nets.
See Brian Schmitz’s full story here.
Zach McCann hands out some pre-season awards to Magic players after the completed a perfect 8-0 pre-season. You can find that here.
Ryan Anderson is very excited to be starting for the Magic tonight.
“I know I am starting tomorrow,” Anderson said Tuesday, responding to a reporter’s question. “I have no idea if while Rashard’s out if that’s a regular thing. We don’t really talk much about lineups, because we have so many guys who can start.”
See the full story here.
Here’s the official word from the Orlando Magic on opening night.
Orlando, FL – The Orlando Magic will begin their defense of the Eastern Conference Championship when they face the Philadelphia 76ers on opening night this coming Wednesday, October 28 at 7 p.m.
The Magic’s good luck charm from last year’s playoff run, 7-year-old Gina Marie Incandela, will perform the national anthem to get the night started. Fans of all ages will be able to enjoy the floor and aerial stunts of the Cirque Aerial halftime show. In addition, every fan in attendance for opening night will receive an Eastern Conference Champions replica banner and Kia Motors Rally Towel.
Other highlights of the opening night activities include:
- A brand new opening night introduction of the 2009-10 Magic team that features a never-before-seen introduction sequence projected onto the entire playing court surface.
- An opening night retail special – An Eastern Conference Championship Banner T-shirt for only $15 (regularly $25).
- An exciting Fan Fest, which will feature:
- The final structural beam for the Amway Center available for fans to sign
- Port-a-Party Bar
- EA Sports NBA Live Invasion Trailer
- Inflatable games
- Sign-making station
- Stupendous Stu balloon art
- Face painting
- Dr. Geek Wordologist
A limited number of upper bowl tickets remain for opening night. Activities begin at 6 p.m., with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. Fans are asked to be in their seats by 6:50 p.m. to fully enjoy all of the opening night game entertainment.
Dwight Howard is an all-around good human being.
**Howard develops Dwight Howard’s Big Change for Kids**
by Elizabeth Brett
Whether it was trash talking Greg Nelams, age 11, about how he was the better video gamer, attempting to speak Spanish to Carlos Onoro, age 13, who spoke very little English, challenging Jonathan Davis, age 8, to figure out a riddle, or providing all three children with special red “Superman” capes, which he graciously signed, Dwight Howard successfully made all three pediatric patients’ day extremely special and unforgettable appearing as the true superhero that he is at the Florida Hospital for Children on Tuesday, October 27.
Greg, who quickly connected with Howard, once they realized each other’s mutual love for video gaming, is currently being treated for Osteosarcoma, a cancerous bone tumor, and was more than thrilled to meet his favorite basketball superstar. “Out of all of the players that I’ve ever wanted to meet, it was really fun for me to meet him,” Greg expressed. “We talked mostly about video games. It was exciting and exhilarating.”
After visiting the pediatric unit during the holidays last year, Howard bonded with one child in particular while competing against each in video games. He knew he wanted to get involved in trying to create a space where the patients could act as other kids their age do and forget about being in a hospital. As a result, Dwight founded the program, Dwight Howard’s Big Change for Kids, which will place jugs at local businesses, schools and churches to collect funds to put towards the special pediatric “gaming” room. Howard collaborated with the Florida Hospital for Children and the Central Florida community to make his wish a reality.
Dwight announced at the event that he would be funding the initial $30,000 for the state-of-the-art room being built in the Pediatrics unit so that the children will have a place to temporarily forget about their troubles and enjoy the latest video gaming technology, movies, board games, educational outlets and much more.
“This is the best way for me to show gratitude,” Howard said. “God blessed me with everything I could imagine, so just being able to give back to these kids and the people who really need it is a lot better than anything else I could ever do.”
When asked if once the project was completed he planned on visiting the children to play against them in video games, Dwight jokingly responded “First, I’m going to give the kids about a year to get ready for me, because I am really competitive and once I come and start playing them in all of the games, I don’t want to beat them right away, I want a challenge, so they need to get used to playing all of the games first.”
Upon hearing Dwight’s extreme confidence in his own gaming abilities, Greg, his newest gaming nemesis, had a quick and simple response. “I can take him, no problem at all”.
Around The League:
King James Gospel reports that the Cavs may sign Antonio Daniels or another Guard due to all of the drama and uncertainty surrounding Delonte West. Click here to read the full story.
Dunking With Wolves is reporting that Mark Blount will not be bought out even though he has an $8 million contract. Click here to see the details.
We’re Bucked thinks that Brandon Jennings’ chances of winning Rookie of the Year have increased significantly. Find out why here.
Around the Network:
The Rat Trick thinks Dmitry Kulikov should go back to Juniors. Click here to find out why.
Saber Noise wonders if another year is the difference maker for the Sabres.
Former #1 overall pick Alex Smith is once again San Francisco’s starter. Click here to see what Niner Noise thinks of this.
Predominantly Orange breaks down the AFC West here.
Twinkie Talk says that Charlie Manuel doesn’t want to win the World Series. Click here to find out why.
Kings of Kauffman has a lot of news about the AL Central here.
Babes Love Baseball reports Jimmy Rollins is extremely confident heading into the World Series. Click here to see why.
Don’t forget to check out my weekly college football blog here.