Presented without comment is this excerpt of Sean Deveney's "Preseason Power Poll" for The Sporting News:
7. Washington. Yes, we've got the Wiz very high in this poll. But Gilbert Arenas is healthy, and we challenge you to find a deeper bench in the league.
8. Orlando. Adding Vince Carter was the splashy move. But adding Brandon Bass, Jason Williams and Matt Barnes might be the moves that matter most for this roster.
Magic center Adonal Foyle joined two other athletes in being inducted to the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame today. Here's how John Wustrow of the Idaho Press Tribune explained Foyle's off-the-court efforts:
Foyle, a 6-foot-10 center for the Orlando Magic who is entering his 13th season in the NBA, started the group Democracy Matters, a non-partisan group which has set up chapters at more than 70 college and high school campuses across 23 states. The group holds rallies and voter registration drives, all to get the youth of this nation more involved in the voting process.
In addition to Democracy Matters, Foyle also set up the Kerosene Lamp Foundation, to help youth both here in the U.S. and back in his home in the Caribbean, to take control of their future. Kerosene Lamp Foundation, named after the lamps Foyle would study under, sets up basketball camps and refurbishes basketball courts in poorer neighborhoods.
Congratulations are in order for Adonal. Check our blogroll for links to his charitable websites.
UPDATE (this bullet only): 2009-10 is a make-or-break year for these players
Shaun Powell of NBA.com thinks this season can "make or break" the career of Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy:
Poor guy. He was squeezed out in Miami and missed the championship parade. And then, after averaging 55 wins in two years and reaching the Finals last season in Orlando, he had to listen to talk about his job. Dwight Howard didn't help matters by raising questions about strategy in the Playoffs. With Vince Carter now aboard and Jameer Nelson finally healthy, the stakes are high once again in Orlando. For someone who refreshingly doesn't draw attention and never assigns blame, Van Gundy will draw attention and find blame, unfairly or not, if the Magic go poof.
I respectfully disagree. Van Gundy's job security was never seriously in doubt at any point last season, but especially not after he guided the Magic to the Finals. It wouldn't surprise me if the Magic offered him an extension in the near future.
Magic center Dwight Howard appeared as Superman on the Orlando Sentinel's roof today, doing a photoshoot for the Sentinel's NBA preview section, which debuts October 27th. Matt Humphrey of the Sentinel took some video of the shoot with his BlackBerry.
Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse has the partial list of referees who have agreed to work NBA games during the referee lockout. They'll earn $1,100 per game, which is less than one-third of what the "regular" referees earn.
Old video of Magic guard Vince Carter dunking on Magic assistant coach Patrick Ewing, back when Carter was the Toronto Raptors' franchise player and when Ewing wound down his career with the Seattle SuperSonics. I wonder if this video will find its way into the Magic's locker room...
Nets Are Scorching scouts former Magic center Tony Battie.
Finally, Howard and Rainn Wilson goof off after shooting a commercial for TNT.