Orlando Magic News for August 6th: More On Rashard Lewis, A Look At Former Magic Players, and More

  • Otis Smith on Rashard Lewis's suspension: "I think we all can learn from it"
    Tania Ganguli gets a hold of Otis Smith and gathers a few comments from him concerning Lewis' suspension.

    He feels bad about it, feels bad that he’s hurting and affecting the team and the organization and himself. The biggest thing I told him is we’re a team, we’re a family we all do crazy, stupid things, and sometimes we have to make adjustments. That’s what kids do, sometimes they make mistakes. I don’t know if it was a knowing mistake, I don’t think it was. I think it was something he put in his body not knowing he had one of the many banned substances in it.
  • Rashard Lewis Gets 10-Game Suspension for Drug Policy Violation
    Bethlehem Shoals of The Baseline chimes in on the news of Rashard's suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

    I'm having trouble recalling any other NBA player being disciplined for any other PED or tell-tale hormone levels. But Lewis isn't particularly known his endless stamina or colossal physique. In other words, I'd hardly see this as the first crack in a great wall of silence and mystery, or a reason to fire up the witch hunt soundtrack. Maybe if it had been [insert physical freak or ball of energy here], there would be reason to whisper. Rashard Lewis? There's really nothing there to hang a crusade on.
  • Rashard Lewis tests positive for PEDs, suspended 10 games
    J.E. Skeets of Ball Don't Lie adds his two cents on Lewis.

    I'll let you don your own "Judge Judy" robe, but Lewis' quick response makes me think this was an isolated, honest mistake. There are many banned substances on the league's list that can be found in common cold medications to vitamins to supplements.
  • Baseball still allows the steroid DHEA
    A few months ago, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports wrote a story about DHEA, the drug that triggered Rashard's positive drug test. A must-read.

    It’s true. There is a drug called dehydroepiandrosterone, better known as DHEA, and it’s legal in the United States and available at your friendly neighborhood meathead market.
  • Three Thoughts About Rashard Lewis and Performance Enhancing Drugs
    UPDATE: Henry Abbott of TrueHoop delves in on the news about Lewis.

    For no good reason, I'm inclined to believe Rashard Lewis when he says his use of DHEA was unintentional, and that he had no idea it was part of an over-the-counter supplement. [...]

    Rashard Lewis will be suspended for ten games to start the season, which will cost him slightly more than $1.6 million in salary. This must be one of the most expensive drug test in history.

    But that's not all. The Collective Bargaining Agreement calls for a first positive test for performance enhancing drugs (SPEDS or "Steroids or Performance Enhancing Drugs" in NBA parlance) to be accompanied by a ten-game suspension and treatment in the league's SPED program. (A second failed test means a 25-game suspension, a third a year suspension, and a fourth banishment from the league.) I'm curious to know what that program entails.
  • Magic GM Not Shocked By Lewis Steroid Suspension
    UPDATE 2: Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse shares more reaction from Otis.

    "I live in the real world. Very few things shock me. I was a little taken aback, but I'm not going to go nuts over it,'' Smith told FanHouse after the league announced the suspension. "I've been around the league for 25-plus years, and I still don't know everything there is to know about all the banned substances.'' [...]

    "I do not think he was taking it as a performance enhancer, trying to get bigger, stronger, faster, or anything like that,'' Smith said. "We spend a lot of time trying to educate our guys on this stuff, but we have to do more. I still think the team, the players' union, the league, has to do more to let these guys know what they can and can't take.''
  • Lewis May Appeal Suspension
    UPDATE 3: Tony Dutt, Rashard's agent, states that his client may appeal the suspension.

    "It was an over-the-counter vitamin supplement and an honest mistake. Ten games is a very harsh punishment for that one mistake. I'm going to talk to the Union and we'll go from there," Tony Dutt, Lewis' agent, told RealGM's Alex Kennedy.
  •  Doping expert says DHEA is "not very effective" as a performance enhancer
    UPDATE 4: Josh Robbins checks in with Dr. Gary Wadler, chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list and methods sub-committee and asks him to elaborate on DHEA's effects on an NBA player like Lewis.

    If in fact he was taking it to enhance performance, he would be looking to raise his testosterone. It’s not very effective, I must say. I think the performance-enhancing aspects of it are nowhere in the same league as other substances that are categorized as anabolic steroids. So, one might think it’s a way of trying to boost your testosterone legally without taking a prohibited substance, namely testosterone, but using something that becomes testosterone. The distinction all started with Mark McGwire. When that occurred, Andro was considered to be a dietary supplement just the way DHEA is now.
  • Stan Van Gundy: Rashard Lewis has the "full support of the coaching staff and everybody in the organization"
    UPDATE 5: Stan Van Gundy offers his full support for Rashard.

    "He’s one of the best people in this league and has been a model citizen and a great team guy and simply made a very innocent mistake," Van Gundy told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. "I think it’s unfortunate. I feel badly for him.”

    Van Gundy added, “I just wanted to make sure that he knew that he has the full support of the coaching staff and everybody in the organization, including, I’m sure, his teammates.”

Click after the jump for news NOT pertaining to Rashard Lewis.

  • 40 Most Underrated & Overrated Seasons of the Decade
    Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference analyzes the 40 most underrated and overrated seasons of the decade. Two former Orlando Magic players don the underrated list. Care to guess who they are?

    To me, these are players who have the largest gulf between their perceived and actual values. Actual value is easy — we just use the ever-trusty Win Shares — but perceived value is a bit tougher. I used to pick up the old Basketball News annuals back in the day, and they would rank players by what they called "PAR (points + assists + rebounds) per game," I suppose thinking that it was some kind of complete player ranking (which is laughable now, but hey, this was the Dark Ages of the 90s). And to me, that’s the conventional wisdom in a nutshell for all but the most hardcore fans — I mean, what did you used to look at first before the APBRmetric revolution? Typically just PPG/RPG/APG, right? And maybe if you were really ahead of your time, FG%? So I’m going to use "PAR/G" as a barometer for how the "general public" views a player. Maybe things have gotten better in recent years, but I doubt it. 
  • Tip-Off Timer: Are 82 Games Too Many?
    Tim Potvak of NBA FanHouse examines whether or not 82 games is too much for an NBA regular season.

    "Not sure the significance of the number, but everyone has just gotten used to seeing 82 on the schedule,'' said Matt Guokas (pictured), a rookie forward on that 76ers championship team that played only 81 regular-season games that year. "It makes for a long season, but everyone is compensated so well, you don't want to be out there complaining about it.''
  • Celtics, Spurs, Lakers, Cavs, Magic score with offseason moves
    Scott Howard-Cooper scores the off-season moves for every team. The Orlando Magic received an 'A'.

    The Magic didn't pay to keep Hedo Turkoglu. But they still went all-in. Even before Turkoglu officially became a free agent, the Magic moved aggressively by giving up young shooting guard Courtney Lee as part of the package for veteran Vince Carter. Needing a banger to help Rashard Lewis at power forward, they signed Brandon Bass away from the Mavericks. Needing depth at small forward in the wake of Turkoglu's departure, they signed Matt Barnes. Needing to retain a backup center, they matched Dallas' $34 million offer sheet for Marcin Gortat. They did more than just salvage the situation of losing Turkoglu.
  • How Do Shot Attempts Change in the Last Two Minutes?
    Jon Nichols of Basketball-Statistics wonders aloud whether or not players take more three-pointers in the last two minutes of the game, whether or not layups or dunks are harder to come by, as a result, and more. Click on the link to check out how Nichols goes about answering those questions. As always, it's interesting stuff.

  • Why the NBA's luxury tax matters now ... and later
    John Hollinger of ESPN.com explains why the luxury tax has greater ramifications, now more than ever, with the ever-changing economic climate in the Association. 

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