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Orlando Magic News for August 18th: Dwight Howard Speaks, 'Building Magic' Update, and More

  • Q&A with Magic center Dwight Howard
    Bill Eichenberger of the Sporting News was able to chat with Dwight Howard while he was filming a movie last week in New Jersey.

    BE: Speaking of real basketball, what’s your reaction to the moves made this offseason by the other teams in the East, starting with Shaquille O’Neal going to the Cavs and Rasheed Wallace going to the Celtics? Will they make it tougher for the Magic to get back to The Finals?

    DH: Nah. For us to get back to The Finals, we have to worry about ourselves, get ourselves better. Everybody is talking about the moves that everyone else has made. We’ve made a lot of moves ourselves to get better. But I don’t think a lot of people have recognized that because it’s mostly not big-name players. But it’s the little pieces that hold everything together.
  • Photo: Oh, Orlando Magic team building exercise '09!
    J.E. Skeets of Ball Don't Lie posts a picture of several Orlando Magic players donning camouflage outfits and sporting paintball guns. Don't worry, the team is ALSO doing basketball-related drills. Still, doesn't hurt to have some fun.

  • C.J. Watson's off the table, so what's next at point guard?
    Tania Ganguli lists possible options at point guard for the Magic.

  • Summer shuffling, done right, can turn a team around
    Jeff Case of takes the time to lists off-season moves in the past that dramatically changed a team's fortune for the better or for the worse. Naturally, Orlando makes the list. (via the Orlando Sentinel)

    Sept. 19 & Sept. 22, 1994 -- Magic sign Horace Grant and Brian Shaw

    The buzz: Orlando was fresh off its first 50-win season, had a budding star tandem in Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee Hardaway but had yet to win a playoff game. With some cash in hand, the Magic signed veterans Grant and Shaw, who helped Orlando to 57 wins in 1994-95 and the team's first Finals appearance.

    The aftermath: The youthful Magic were swept by the Rockets in the 1995 Finals. The 1995-96 Magic won 60 games, a franchise first, but were swept in the conference finals by the Bulls. From there, Shaq left town for L.A., Penny started to break down and the Magic suddenly fell off the title-contending map. Grant was traded to the Sonics on June 30, 1999 while Shaw was traded to the Warriors on Oct. 28, 1997.
  • UPDATE: Superman works on a commercial for ESPN, today. (via Twitter) - me (clark kent) and hannah storm (lois lane) filming a @sportscenter commercial