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What They're Saying At The Last Media Day Of The Season For The Orlando Magic

  • Magic SF Hedo Turkoglu opts out of contract
    Brian Schmitz updates the contract situation with Marcin Gortat and Hedo Turkoglu. 

  • PG Rafer Alston must be let go if Magic want team unity
    Mike Bianchi suggests that the Orlando Magic should trade Skip.

    It's irrelevant whether the point guard controversy had anything to do with impeding the Magic's potential championship season.

    What's important is the franchise cannot let the distraction spill into next season.

    Rafer Alston did exactly what he was brought here to do — and then some.

    He should be commended for a job well done.

    He should be applauded for his contributions to the greatest season in franchise history.

    He should be thanked for quarterbacking the Magic into the NBA Finals.

    Then he should be traded.
  • Lakers were just too much for Dwight Howard and the Magic
    Kyle Hightower states that the off-season will give Magic players a chance to work on their respective games, especially Dwight Howard.

    The season may have ended Sunday night, but the work is just starting for the Orlando Magic.

    After a few weeks, the roster that got the Magic to their second NBA Finals will break apart for the summer to work on their games.

    This season the Magic surprised everyone but themselves with their near-championship playoff run. But as good as they were, their 4-1 Finals loss to the Lakers showed that there is still some fine-tuning needed before this team can stage celebrations and not witness them.

    Last summer, Magic center Dwight Howard spent his offseason prepping for and then participating in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Though that did mean time on the basketball court, this offseason will provide time for a lot more focused, individual development.
  • Q&A with Mickael Pietrus and Courtney Lee
    Andrea Adelson speaks with Mickael Pietrus and Courtney Lee at the final media day of the season for Orlando, at the RDV SportsPlex.

    Mickael Pietrus

    What can you take from the Finals loss? You have to take some experience from the losses. We know now. We know the Lakers played extremely hard. It’s a matter of working hard in the summer, make your team better, make yourself better and come back strong.
    Courtney Lee

    What did you learn from the Finals experience that will help next year? We need to limit our turnovers, rebounding. The first couple of games of the series, we didn’t play our style of basketball so we just need to get back to playing that more consistently.

    Lessons you learned for next year? I learned a lot, being in the organization, what to expect, I definitely learned a lot so it will definitely help me next year.

    What do you need to work on personally? First just rest. Other than that, every aspect of the game, especially more ball handling so I can play the 1 and the 2.
  • Turkoglu will opt out, but wants to return in a Magic jersey
    Hedo Turkoglu speaks for the first time about his future with the team. 

    "Opting out doesn't mean I'm going to leave. I'm looking for the best opportunity for myself and my family.

    "I hope everything will work out for both sides and I stay here because I became Turkoglu here. It's a good time for me to make a decision and, hopefully, everything will work out and I'll be in a Magic jersey." [...]

    "I don't want to leave here. I've been here five years and have great memories, but I have to secure myself and my family."
  • Marcin Gortat wants to stay in Orlando, but Turk's contract situation will play role
    Josh Robbins chats with the Polish Hammer, Marcin Gortat ...

    Gortat had a salary of $770,000 in 2008-09, and he stands to have a big payday. He said that the Magic's decision about whether to match any offer will depend on whether the Magic re-sign Hedo Turkoglu, who has opted out of his contract. In other words, if the Magic break the back to re-sign Turk, the team won't have the money to match an offer to Gortat. [...]

    "Everything depends from Turk, what’s going to happen with Turk. That’s what I think. I would like to stay in Orlando. I love Orlando. I love the coaching staff. I learned a lot with Coach Van Gundy, and he made me a player. Basically, he taught me a lot of discipline. He gave me a lot of experience. I’m just happy that I had this opportunity to play for this town, for the team, for this organization, for the fans. I can tell you one thing: I feel great here; I feel really awesome. I think fans liked me, and I like the fans. I like everything about the Magic."

    Rafer Alston talks about the future: Jameer Nelson will be team's starter in 2009-10 
    ..and with Skip to My Lou, Rafer Alston.