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Orlando Magic News for December 16th: Hedo Turkoglu Returns to Orlando; Bill Simmons Comments on Grant Hill

  • Dwight Howard doesn’t know what kind of reception Hedo Turkoglu will receive tonight
    Josh Robbins asks Dwight Howard about Hedo Turkoglu's return to Orlando as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

    Dwight Howard was asked today how he thinks Magic fans will receive Turk.

    "I don’t know," Howard said. "A lot of people loved him here. We miss him. I’m happy to see that he’s healthy and he’s still playing. So, hopefully he has an OK game tonight and we still come out on top."
  • Orlando Magic officials will continue to support their players' participation in international competitions
    .. and states how members of the Orlando Magic organization, including head coach Stan Van Gundy, don't mind that their players compete internationally.

    Orlando Magic officials will continue to support their players' participation in international competitions even though center Marcin Gortat and former Magic small forward Hedo Turkoglu returned from September's European championships fatigued.

    Gortat played for his native Poland in EuroBasket 2009 and said the additional games weren't physically exhausting but left him a bit "burned out" mentally. Turkoglu sat out the Toronto Raptors' first four preseason games so he could rest after he played for Turkey.

    "It doesn't change my opinion at all: To me, guys should be playing basketball all summer anyway and working," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I've said before even if I thought it was a detriment to our players, I would never discourage them from playing. In my opinion, as an athlete you can't have a bigger honor than representing your country."
  • Mickael Pietrus sits out of shootaround as Magic prepare to face Raptors again
    Tania Ganguli shares news on Mickael Pietrus' health.

    That stomach bug thing is going around.

    Mickael Pietrus sat out of shootaround this morning with it. He’ll be a gametime decision just like Vince Carter was. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he will start either J.J. Redick or Matt Barnes if Pietrus can’t play.
  • Bill Simmons: The lost pages from my book "The Book of Basketball," via the December 28, 2009 issue of ESPN The Magazine
    Bill Simmons of ESPN The Magazine reveals the lost pages in his book - "The Book of Basketball" - and mentions former Magic player Grant Hill.

    The trip made me think of Grant Hill. In 1997, Fila blew him away with a massive $80 million deal meant to splash the company into the basketball market. With Nike and Reebok heatedly bidding for NBA stars, Fila went a different route: It threw the bulk of its basketball marketing budget behind Hill. But after staying healthy for six seasons, Hill injured his ankle and missed much of the next decade. Could his shoes have contributed to his woes? In any case, Fila doesn't sponsor NBA players or compete in that market anymore.

    Yes, it could be coincidence, and yes, Fila surely was careful in customizing its shoe for Hill. But if a publishing company that printed only a couple of books a year tried to sign me, would I think, Do they have enough experience to publish mine? Damned right I would. The whole thing is weird. Keep in mind, it's usually bigs who battle chronic foot and ankle issues, not athletic swing guys. After my visit, I realized "What if Grant Hill had signed with Nike?" was a natural for my "Greatest What-Ifs?" chapter. Hill was headed for Level 3 or 4 of my Hall of Fame Pyramid, but he didn't make it. What if his career detour wasn't just bad luck? It's a great hypothetical, you have to admit.