Orlando Magic News & Notes: Howard's Big Weekend, Harper In France

J.C. Carnahan/Orlando Sports Central

Last week, Dwight Howard wanted suggestions for putting on an old school vs new school Magic game. Now, he’s set a date:

Promising festivities akin to “a Magic All-Star weekend,” Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard said over Twitter on Saturday that he’s putting together events for Nov. 11-13 that will include an exhibition game that Sunday at UCF.

“Orlando is gonna love what’s about to happen,” Howard wrote.

Philip Rossman-Reich shared more:

“It’s gonna be a weekend like a Magic All-Star weekend. Give you more details soon. 11th thru 13th,” Howard tweeted when pressed for more information about the event. He later revealed it will be held at UCF Arena at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Howard has been absent from the exhibition all star game. Part of that is because he is a center and those are more guard showcases. Howard did participate in an charity game on the campus of Louisville University hosted by former teammate Earl Clark in early August. But that has been about it when it comes to the NBA’s best big man participating in formal informal basketball games.

Speaking of Howard, Brian Schmitz says the Magic should play hardball with him:

The Magic need Howard and his agent, Dan Fegan, to answer two simple questions AGAIN (I’m sure they’ve already asked in some form):

1.Will you stay if we can coax Chris Paul or Deron Williams to Orlando?

2.If not, where do you want to play?

Sorry, but the Magic can’t take “we don’t know yet” for an answer from Howard’s camp. A “maybe” is a “no.”

The club was burned by Shaquille O’Neal 15 years ago. The Magic can’t get fooled again.

This time they must try to get compensation for a superstar center. You can’t let Howard walk — unless the deal is detrimental.

Quentin Richardson says his back is feeling better after surgery:

“The back has been good,” Richardson said. “I haven’t had any setbacks. I’ve been doing everything, the rehab the whole summer. Like I said, I’ve been working out with the guys, for the most part, with no setbacks. So everything’s been good.”

Since July 1, when the NBA lockout went into effect, the Magic athletic-training staff has been prohibited from having any contract with their players, even Richardson and shooting guard J.J. Redick, who also had offseason surgery.

That meant Richardson and Redick had to take full responsibility for their recoveries.

Justin Harper’s struggles in France continue:

One can find positives in Harper’s performance, however: his 2-of-5 mark on three-pointers is by far his best of the season, and he recovered from an abysmal 4-of-13 shooting night in his second game. Harper’s averages stand at 10.7 points and 7 rebounds per game on 38.7 percent shooting.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).

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