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Introducing Steven Covella, our newest contributor

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Steven brings forth a great basketball knowledge, along with a unique perspective of the team.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Sports are inherently tribal. Our team of surrogate warriors, representing our township, can take on your team, your township and come out victorious, thus validating our place in this world. For that reason, sports can often be marred by xenophobia -- a circling of the wagons from outsiders trying take siege on our representatives and by proxy, us.

I'm an outsider, but I promise, I come in peace.

I grew up in Sacramento, so I’m cursed with a semi-voluntary emotional attachment to the Kings. I covered them for a bit after college, where I covered some Division-1 teams for the campus newspaper.

I met Zach Oliver -- "met" as in, I saw him in email chains, and had exchanges with him over Twitter and Google Hangouts -- while covering the Kings for BallerMindFrame.com. I had a lot of respect for what he did with his Magic coverage there, something he parlayed into his current gig here at OPP. Apparently he respected my work too (only time will tell if that was a mistake), because he reached out to me recently, asking if I was interested in contributing to this site.

I’m no expert on the Magic. For me, the team exists without a ton of context. I’m aware of it in the same way the Small Council in King’s Landing is aware of Khaleesi and her dragons. The council knows they exist somewhere to the east, but there are more pressing matters grabbing their attention. Similarly, as a basketball fan, I’ve been aware of Orlando’s general comings and goings, but the organization's nuances have been admittedly low on my list of interests.

That changes this season, as I’ll be joining you and this site on what looks to be a wild ride of a season. I’m excited to learn more about this team (which has a lot of interesting players and personalities) and this community. One of my goals, with my limited insight on the Magic’s recent past, is to give an outsider’s perspective to juxtapose the inside track Zach and you guys all have. Hopefully that will add a little something different to coverage of the team.

In the meantime, hopefully you’ll give me the chance before giving the order.