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Orlando 10 Years Ago Chose to Retain Their Magic

2016 September 29
by Adam Papageorgiou

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Louisville Magic. St. Louis Magic. Kansas City Magic. Oklahoma City Magic (sorry, Seattle). A decade ago, Orlando could have opened the door for its city to allow its only major sports franchise – at the time – to seek a new home and migrate to a new host base.

Although the Orlando Arena was still fairly young, having been built in 1989, it was quickly considered out-dated by the mid-’90s due to all of the modern amenities it lacked. It had the opera-style balcony VIP suites that heavy spenders realized didn’t make sense to have for basketball when you could barely see the action on the court. I loved the O-rena because it was perfect for basketball. Small, loud, and no bad seats.

Since the 21st century began – basically when the arena’s name changed to ‘TD Waterhouse Centre’ –  it seemed like the Magic were asking City of Orlando and Orange County officials for funding assistance to seek plans to build a new arena. In 2004, former NBA commissioner David Stern agreed with the team’s opinion.

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Orlando’s Depth is Remarkably Relaxing

2016 September 28
by Adam Papageorgiou

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The Orlando Magic have already had to begin Frank Vogel’s first training camp as head coach without Aaron Gordon (rolled ankle) and Elfrid Payton (strained hip flexor) being able to fully participate.

This is a very familiar situation to last year during Scott Skiles‘ reign. AG was still recovering from that broken jaw and was only able to partake in non-contract drills (just like now under Vogel) while EP missed the vast majority of that ’15 camp and preseason with a hamstring injury. Both returned for that regular season opener, and I expect both to get plenty practice time prior to this upcoming Oct. 26th opener against the Heat.

But even if Gordon and Payton were each unavailable – so we’re talking your starting PG and SF here – I’m quite comfortable with the options available to step in. I think this is where many basketball prognosticators are underestimating just what the Magic accomplished this offseason.

From a full roster perspective, this by far and away the best squad GM Rob Hennigan has put together since taking the job in 2012. I can make an easy argument that this is the deepest team the franchise has had since the 2010-2011 campaign.

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Single-Game Magic Tickets Go On Sale October 4th

2016 September 28
by Adam Papageorgiou

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The Orlando Magic on Wednesday announced that single-game tickets for all exhibition and regular season contests in their 2016-2017 campaign will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday October 4th at 10 a.m. EST.

Chase bank card holders will have the early chance to buy single-game tickets beginning Thursday September 29th when they use their Chase card.

Tickets will officially be available for purchase:

  • Online at www.orlandomagic.com
  • At the Chase box office at Amway Center (on Church Street)
  • At all TicketMaster outlets
  • By calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX
  • For Chase card holders starting on September 29th, when their Chase card is used

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.

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Here Are Orlando’s ‘Stars’ Uniforms for the ’16-’17 Season

2016 September 26
by Adam Papageorgiou

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We initially learned about them last month, but the Orlando Magic at ‘Media Day’ on Monday had some of their players wear the ‘Stars’ alternate uniform.

I’m aware I have the minority opinion, but I think they look solid in person. The grey/silver color works. The logo pops out. The number placement and the font used are great. Are the blue-white panels a little weird? Yeah, but it doesn’t take away from the rest of the jersey.

 

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Orlando Magic 2016 Media Day Interviews

2016 September 26
by Adam Papageorgiou

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The Orlando Magic held their ‘Media Day’ at the Amway Center on Monday, and it’s safe to say that this is the most initial buzz surrounding this franchise in the entire Rob Hennigan era.

It’s where we find out how guys spent their offseason. Who looked like they lost weight. Who looked like they put on muscle. Playoff expectations. It’s typically a joyous occasion and never disappoints as far as entertainment value goes. Get your excitement levels up.

Below is a lot of interview footage. If there’s one thing I remembered, it’s that I need more video recording memory. Enjoy.

Frank Vogel:

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Let’s Talk Orlando Magic and the National Anthem

2016 September 26
by Adam Papageorgiou
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It’s going to come up.

Whether at Media Day, during training camp, before or after a preseason game, or in the regular season.

Someone will ask an Orlando Magic player, coach, and/or front office representative about their opinion on the national anthem protests – that first started over a month ago with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling – and whether they or other members of the franchise will take part in the non-violent movement that continues to gain the attention of the country and the world as touchy topics such as racism, oppression, killings, police brutality, and more are being pushed into the living rooms of millions of sports viewers.

I won’t be asking that question. Someone who can more eloquently pose the question can. If it happens though, then we can worry about asking the ‘why?’ and which player/coach said what once that time comes, but it’s naive to ignore the high probability that NBA players will be participating in some capacity. Especially since the NBA and the NBPA are working together to seek “positive changes” to promote societal improvement.

The NBA seems to have more players set on making their stance known more so than NFL players. And Charlotte knows, the NBA isn’t afraid to make a point when it comes to rights of all humans.

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Penny & Pops Podcast: The Start of Training Camp is Upon Us

2016 September 21

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After a lengthy wait full of offseason change and potential upgrades, the 2016 Orlando Magic training camp is upon us.

We decide which of the recent 6 camp signings are most likely to make the regular season squad.

Las Vegas is begging Magic fans to steal its money as they put the over/under on Orlando ’16-’17 wins at 36.5 victories. The entire Southeast division appears to be up for grabs.

There’s potentially good news for Jodie Meeks and his surgically repaired foot. Shaquille O’Neal became the longest-tenured Magic player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Nikola Vucevic‘s EuroBasket qualifying tournament was a success.

Plus, much more as our next episode will come after Orlando’s newest basketball gets introduced to the public.

Warning: Adult Language

 

 

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.

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Vucevic Concludes Qualifying with 17 Points Against Georgia

2016 September 18
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Sasa Matic/FIBA

Saturday provided a rematch between the top two squads in Group F of the 2017 EuroBasket qualifying tournament as Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic‘s Montenegro side hosted Zaza Pachulia‘s Georgia team in Bar at the Topolica Sports Hall.

The stakes were quite clear by the time both nations hit the court at 3 p.m. EST. Montenegro had already qualified for next year’s EuroBasket competition. Georgia had basically assured themselves a spot as well – as long as they didn’t lose by a lot of points, which was highly improbable – as they could have lost and claimed one of the four best 2nd place spots up for grabs.

Montenegro would finish undefeated and claim top spot in Group F had they won, or lost by no more than 2 points. If Georgia won the contest by 3 or more points, both teams would be 5-1 and Georgia would claim first in the group. The latter is what exactly happened. Georgia won 90-84 in what was another energetic finish to the contest.

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FOX Sports Florida Preps Magic Men for Upcoming Season

2016 September 17
by Adam Papageorgiou

fsmagic

It’s a surprise to no one, but FOX Sports Florida will once again be broadcasting all 82 regular season NBA games for the 2016-2017 Orlando Magic campaign. You can watch all of those contests on the FOX Sports GO app.

There will also be 2 of the seven preseason contests shown: the October 16th home game against the Atlanta Hawks, and the October 18th road contest at the Miami Heat.  I know, I too hate that we still have to rely on streams for exhibition games.

 

 

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Vucevic, Montenegro Beat Albania to Clinch 2017 EuroBasket Spot

2016 September 14
by Adam Papageorgiou
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Courtesy of FIBA

Mission accomplished. Montenegro didn’t need Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic‘s best on Wednesday as they defeated winless Albania 94-56. Coach Bogdan Tanjevic’s squad has clinched their spot in next year’s 2017 EuroBasket tournament. It’ll be the third time ever that this little nation will be competing on such a large stage, and the first since 2013. Huge congratulations are in order for Nik and company.

Vucevic had probably his worst game statistically during this 5-0 stretch, but Albania was done after the first 10-minute period concluded. Nik finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and solid 5 assists on 4-of-12 shooting (1-of-3 on 3s) in about 22 minutes played. The 25-year-old center was a +28 on the floor.

Not only was the win over Albania a Montenegrin home game, it was a homecoming of sorts for ‘Vooch’ that this contest occurred in the cozy Topolica Sports Hall in Bar, Montenegro.

 

 

Montenegro was up 46-27 at the break as Nik had 7 points and 4 rebounds on 3-of-8 shooting (0-of-2 on 3s). The second half, Nik’s squad cruised. Albania shot a bad 37.5 FG% for the contest.

The EuroBasket 2017 group drawings will be held in Turkey on November 22nd.

Before that, there is still one more game remaining in qualifying. It’s an opportunity to finish undefeated in Group F, but to also prove to Zaza Pachulia and opponents Georgia that they’re for real. Georgia is still fighting for one of the best second-place records that would also grant them a ticket To EuroBasket. Zaza’s bunch has everything to play for.

Since this will be played in the same Topolica Sports Hall in Bar as this Albania victory, the motivation for Montenegro to perform at their best in front of home support should be there. We’ll see on Saturday.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.

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