Orlando Magic Media Day: an Overview

Bruce Maddox - Orlando Pinstriped Post

Orlando Pinstriped Post presents coverage of Orlando Magic Media Day.

I thought it might be appropriate to take a step back from the player-specific Magic Media-Day coverage and do a "roundup" post of sorts about what happened in general. So here is that post.

Players' responsibilities on Media Day go beyond simply talking to reporters; they must pose for all sorts of photographs and video--I counted four photography stations and one video station on the Amway Center practice court--as well. So for the first, say, half-hour of Media Day, the reporters found themselves without much to do as the players were occupied with those other duties. Only at the end of their circuit around the court did the players meet with the media, standing against a black backdrop, although a few outlets managed to snag a player between stations.

The photographs have wildly different purposes. One station took eight photos of each player--one at each eighth of a counter-clockwise turn--for reasons that are not yet clear to me. Another station required the players to pose with comical props, such as an acoustic guitar, a saxophone, a graduation cap, and a bowl of fruit. In another area, they had to do various basketball poses, like snaring a rebound, dribbling in a crouched stance, and preparing to shoot a free throw.

Notes on my favorite quote from anyone the entire day, the new NBA Revolution 30 uniforms, Jameer Nelson's shoes, and more after the jump.

Reserve small forward Mickael Pietrus might just be the most fun player on the team to talk to. He kept the media around him in stitches with his earnest positivity. At times, it seems like Stan Lee is writing his dialog from the 1960s, as each of his sentences seems to end with at lest one exclamation point. The highlight of the day, for me, came when Pietrus said team chemistry "is as high as the Eiffel Tower!" Later, he said it was an honor to be among the first players to take the court at the new Amway Center, while blowing a kiss in the direction of the old Amway Arena, saying "we'll miss him." And no discussion with Pietrus is complete until he uses some variation of the line "life's too short to be unhappy."

All 30 NBA teams are getting a new look this season with adidas' Revolution 30 uniform, apparently the most advanced hoops uniform yet due to its lightness and sweat-wicking technology. While the Magic's uniform design itself hasn't changed, the fabric of the jersey has much larger holes when viewed up close. As an example, here's a look at the back of Vince Carter's uniform:

Bruce Maddox - Orlando Pinstriped Post

It's not the sort of change that you'll notice when watching a game, unless it's an HD feed, and the camera is zoomed rather tight on the players.

Jameer Nelson signed an endorsement deal with Reebok prior to last season. While he doesn't have a signature shoe, Reebok does furnish him with new kicks every so often. On media day, he wore these shoes, which prominently incorporate Reebok's new Zig technology:

Bruce Maddox - Orlando Pinstriped Post

In case you're curious, here's which shoe brands each player wore today:

  • adidas: Dwight Howard, Stanley Robinson;

  • Brand Jordan: Quentin Richardson;

  • Nike: Malik Allen, Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass, Vince Carter, Chris Duhon, Marcin Gortat, Rashard Lewis, Daniel Orton, J.J. Redick, Jason Wiliams;

  • Peak: Mickael Pietrus;

  • Reebok: Jameer Nelson.

Marcin Gortat said he went with a mohawk haircut because it's "new" for him, and it's better to try new looks at age 26 than at 40; initially, he joked that he got the new 'do because he was having trouble meeting ladies, but he clarified that he has a girlfriend.

Pietrus also had some notable missing hair. He didn't cut his hair at all last season, sporting a huge Afro, reportedly in order to collect upwards of $17,000 from his teammates. When Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk asked Pietrus what happened to the 'fro, he said, "I killed it!" with glee ringing in his voice.

This Media Day also saw the requisite routine of one player pretending to interview another. Quentin Richardson seized a microphone from a Magic staffer, huddled close to Chris Duhon, his former teammate with the New York Knicks, and asked him a few silly questions. He also clapped his arm hard around Duhon's back and said, "This is part two of our killing spree!" Yes, Bruce Maddox got a photo of this exchange, but I'm saving it for a future post.

A few more sartorial notes: Dwight Howard will continue to wear black compression sleeves on both arms, a look he debuted in the playoffs, if his ensemble yesterday is any indication. And Quentin Richardson, it appears, did not seek permission to wear a headband; I documented the Magic's no-headband rule, which is not unreasonably strict, last year.

The amenities at Amway Center are spectacular, and I'm sure I'll learn more about them when Bruce and I tour the building with the rest of the media this Friday. But we got to see one of the additions in the media workroom right away. This photo, friends, shows the brand-new, soft-serve ice cream machine in the lounge. It's just next to the fountain drink machine and the off-camera popcorn machine. While it wasn't operational for media day, I anticipate it will be when the first game tips on October 10th:

Bruce Maddox - Orlando Pinstriped Post

I hope to round out Media-Day coverage later today, or perhaps this evening, with a look at what Stan Van Gundy and J.J. Redick had to say.

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