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Which NBA Refs Did Magic Fans Love and Hate This Season?

2015 April 17
by Adam Papageorgiou
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

You may have noticed that I was tracking NBA referee win-loss records for every Orlando Magic game officiated this 2014-2015 season.

I’ve got the results below:

Ref # Ref Name Magic Wins Magic Losses
43 Dan Crawford 4 0
6 Tony Brown 4 2
49 Tom Washington 4 4
46 Ben Taylor 3 1
34 Kevin Cutler 3 2
41 Ken Mauer 3 2
68 Marat Kogut 3 3
31 Scott Wall 3 4
61 Courtney Kirkland 2 0
15 Bennett Salvatore 2 1
65 Sean Wright 2 1
30 John Goble 2 2
48 Scott Foster 2 2
77 Karl Lane 2 2
79 Kevin Scott 2 2
13 Monty McCutchen 2 3
29 Mark Lindsay 2 3
42 Eric Lewis 2 3
66 Haywoode Workman 2 4
7 Lauren Holtkamp 2 5
78 Tyler Ford 1 0
16 David Guthrie 1 1
18 Matt Boland 1 1
64 Justin VanDuyne 1 1
75 C.J. Washington 1 1
11 Derrick Collins 1 2
22 Bill Spooner 1 2
23 Jason Phelps 1 2
26 Pat Fraher 1 2
47 Bennie Adams 1 2
56 Mark Ayotte 1 2
14 Ed Malloy 1 3
19 James Capers 1 3
20 Leroy Richardson 1 3
38 Michael Smith 1 3
70 Brent Barnaky 1 3
73 Tre Maddox 1 3
9 Derrick Stafford 1 4
21 Dedric Taylor 1 4
36 David Jones 1 4
45 Brian Forte 1 4
60 James Williams 1 4
74 Curtis Blair 1 4
28 Zach Zarba 1 5
54 Nick Buchert 1 5
37 Eric Dalen 0 1
51 Mitchell Ervin 0 1
53 Gediminas Petraitis 0 1
44 Eli Roe 0 2
55 Bill Kennedy 0 2
63 Derek Richardson 0 2
72 J.T. Orr 0 2
10 Ron Garretson 0 3
12 Violet Palmer 0 3
17 Joe Crawford 0 3
33 Sean Corbin 0 3
58 Josh Tiven 0 3
59 Gary Zielinski 0 3
24 Mike Callahan 0 4
35 Kane Fitzgerald 0 4
52 Scott Twardoski 0 4
8 Marc Davis 0 5
40 Leon Wood 0 5
25 Tony Brothers 0 6


Our man Danny Crawford came through with his 4-0 record leading the pack. That’s pretty hard to accomplish considering the Magic were 25-57 this season. Danny was part of 16% of Magic victories. I think midway through the season the NBA pulled the reins on Crawford officiating more Orlando contests because they realized that Dan’s son Drew Crawford was on the Erie BayHawks – Orlando’s NBDL affiliate – and the Magic’s Summer League roster.

As for worst? Well, you see Tony Brothers at 0-6. Further up are Joey Crawford, Sean Corbin, and Violet Palmer each at 0-3. Ed Malloy managed to be 1-3.

I’m not going to whip out specific game examples because the Magic players and coaches squandered plenty of games all on their own, but feel free to comment below if you distinctly recall an official having a large influence on a Magic loss.

I expect to be tracking many more Magic victories rather than losses next season.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Orlando Magic Car License Plates May Not Exist in the Future

2015 April 17
by Adam Papageorgiou

license plate

That’s right, Orlando Magic fans, those team license plates you sometimes see on the back of automobiles in Central Florida may no longer exist in the future. Dan Sweeney of the Sun Sentinel reports that there is a new Florida state legislation bill that is expected to pass soon requiring that a minimum of 4,000 versions of a specialty license plate must be sold and active on the state’s roads to continue being utilized in circulation.

The new limits seem likely to pass the Legislature this session. A House version of the bill is already on the floor, awaiting a vote, while the Senate version has to get through another committee hearing.

“The license plate program in Florida has kind of become a sideshow,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, chair of the Senate committee that proposed the bill. “And so how do we begin to rein that in? Ultimately, this is what we think will do that.”

If the 4,000 plate limit isn’t met, then that plate gets phased out. The expected date of extinction for an ‘unpopular’ license plate would be July 1, 2020. So there’s five years of catching up to do. Apparently – at this moment in time – not enough of these Magic plates are selling to warrant continuing this license plate theme should the new bill pass.

And then there are plates for the Miami Marlins (2,263), Florida Panthers (1,885), Orlando Magic (3,288) and NASCAR (2,779). Not to mention amateur sports plates like Play Tennis (2,621).

It just goes to show you how unpopular the Magic are when they’re being compared to the Florida Panthers and Miami Marlins. The other major sports franchises are out of the danger zone. There’s plenty of money to go around though.

Last year, 1,302,351 vehicles sported specialty plates, meaning about $30 million for nonprofit organizations.

A portion of the proceeds of Orlando Magic license plates benefits the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF). How big of a portion? I don’t know.

I own a UCF license plate because those funds went back to my alma mater. You would hope the Magic get good again long before 2020 arrives. But there’s some catching up that needs to be done as far as raising Magic license plate sales up to a respectable level.

A specialty license plate only costs $25. If you’re passionate about the Magic – or anything else – and have some extra funds you want to donate, go purchase a specialty plate to support your cause.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Aaron Gordon Talks Billy Donovan and New NBA HGH Testing

2015 April 16
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Joel Auerbach

AP Photo/Joel Auerbach


Orlando Magic rookie forward – is he a rookie still? – Aaron Gordon hosted his Year One SIRIUS satellite radio show and touched on some intriguing topics. One of them is the NBA’s new Human Growth Hormone (HGH) blood-testing program that will go into effect beginning in the 2015-2016 season. Everyone knew this was coming thanks to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but the system is finally in place.




19-year-old ‘AG’ clearly believes that the NBA was very suspicious about players using HGH and that’s why there’s this new system. Here’s that audio.

Another topic Gordon talked about was the time spent with interim Head Coach James Borrego. Aaron also discussed Billy Donovan. Aaron and Elfrid Payton were both coached by Donovan on the Team USA Under-19 squad. Here’s that audio, as Gordon compared Donovan to his Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller.




So I guess you can say Aaron is a supporter of Billy Donovan potentially becoming Magic Head Coach.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

What We Learned from Orlando Magic Exit Interviews

2015 April 16
by Adam Papageorgiou


Orlando Magic players, interim Head Coach James Borrego, and General Manager Rob Hennigan on Thursday reflected back on the 2014-2015 season and look to the offseason to improve the franchise from the 25-win mess they were this campaign.

Using video footage, let’s pick out some of the more important things said as well as try and interpret some responses.


James Borrego Will Get a Full-Time Head Coach Interview

GM Rob Hennigan confirmed that James Borrego will get interviewed for the full-time Head Coach position. The two men have not met yet for deep discussions. Henny didn’t confirm anything else in regards to the coaching search, even saying “no” when asked if the franchise has reached out to chat with any potential candidates. Under Borrego, the Magic were 10-20. Orlando did own a fourth quarter lead in 20 of those 30 games though.

I don’t think J.B. should be the Head Coach, but I think he deserves to be on the staff should he wish to remain with the Magic and if the new Head Coach wants him on the staff. James has a lengthy coaching future and he’s rightfully in no hurry to leave town. Borrego’s passion for the position cannot be ignored though.


read more…

Magic Will Travel to Brazil in October for 2015 Preseason

2015 April 16
by Adam Papageorgiou


The Orlando Magic will be heading to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in October for upcoming preseason action, per a report by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The Magic are slated to play Brazilian champions Flamengo. If you recall, last October the Magic played Flamengo at Amway Center. Orlando won that contest 106-88 as the atmosphere was fantastic.

The NBA Global Games Rio 2015 exhibition contest will occur on Saturday October 17th and will be played inside Flamengo’s HSBC Arena which holds 15,000 people. It’ll be the third consecutive year that the NBA has sent at least one of its teams to play in Brazil.

From Robbins’ piece:

Magic executives told NBA officials they wanted to play a game in Brazil. In 2013, almost 770,000 visitors from Brazil visited Central Florida — the highest number of visitors from any overseas country — according to the tourism-marketing agency Visit Orlando. A share of those visitors attend Magic regular-season games, especially during January and February.

In addition to the on-court action, NBA Global Games Rio 2015 will feature a variety of activities off the court, including NBA Cares community programs. The game also will be supported by a variety of partners and will be available to fans globally on television and digital media platforms, with significant social media support. Ticket sales information and additional details will be released at a later date.

Magic CEO Alex Martins:

“We look forward to representing the Central Florida community and the NBA by showcasing our great community and our team. Brazil has been a tremendous market for the Orlando Magic and Central Florida and this trip will certainly add to the partnership we have cultivated, especially as it relates to the tourism segment of our business and community. We were excited to host Flamengo last year in the Amway Center and witnessed first-hand the passion of Brazilian basketball fans who attended the game. We are certainly looking forward with great excitement to this opportunity.”


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Bogdanovic and Brooklyn Bury Magic to Conclude Season

2015 April 15
by Adam Papageorgiou

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

That’s a wrap, folks. The Orlando Magic concluded their 2014-2015 season with a 25-57 record as they lost 101-88 at Barclays Center to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. The Magic had the game tied entering the 4th quarter only to crumble when the pressure mounted. Interim Head Coach James Borrego finishes with a 10-20 record at the helm. Both teams shot about 48% from the field, but Brooklyn’s nine more made free throws put a dent into the contest.

The soon-to-be 26 years old rookie Bojan Bogdanovic was magnificent for Brooklyn as he poured in a career-high 28 points off the bench. Joe Johnson and Thaddeus Young each added 16 points. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic – as he’s done numerous times this season – with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. Victor Oladipo contributed 19 points while Andrew Nicholson tallied a season-high 18 points and 9 rebounds.


Below is the full game recap.

read more…

Ben Gordon Had to Reassure People He’s Not Retiring

2015 April 15
by Adam Papageorgiou


Orlando Magic veteran guard Ben Gordon is a few weeks into his fresh new Instagram account. He also hasn’t played a contest since March 22nd. Still, the man stays positive and he wanted to give his thanks for his 11th season of NBA basketball.



That freaked people out as folks confused his Instagram post as some type of retirement declaration. The 32-year-old had to clarify the situation.


Whether Gordon will play his 12th NBA season in Orlando is another topic, but Ben shut up a lot of doubters who thought he’d be a cancer in the Magic locker room this season. He’s been far from problematic. A pro’s pro both on and off the court. In 56 games off the bench this ’14-’15 campaign, Ben Gordon has averaged 6.2 ppg on a respectable 43.7 FG% and 36.1 3PT%.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Elfrid Payton…Iron Man

2015 April 14
by Adam Papageorgiou


Barring something unforeseen occurring to keep him from facing the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, Orlando Magic rookie point guard Elfrid Payton will accomplish something that no Magic player has achieved since the 2009-2010 season: Play all 82 games in a season. Back in ’09-’10, Dwight Howard, J.J. Redick, and Jason Williams accomplished the feat. Elfrid will make it the 31st time a Magic player has played all 82 contests in 26 seasons of Orlando basketball.

Elf Lord will also be the first Magic rookie of any position to play all 82 games since Dwight Howard did it in his ’04-’05 campaign. The 21-year-old will have started 63 games. Among his rookie classmates, Andrew Wiggins will have started all 82 contests (impressive), and Nikola Mirotic will have played all 82 contests as he’s gearing up to play a huge role for the Chicago Bulls in the postseason.

Elfrid Payton is averaging 9.0 ppg, 6.5 apg, 4.3 rpg, and 1.7 spg at about 30 minutes per contest on 42.7 FG% and 55.7 FT%. Even though he’s got the most assists among rookies, the kid from Louisiana won’t be winning Rookie of the Year. He may not be voted into the top 3 with Andrew Wiggins, Nikola Mirotic, and Nerlens Noel garnering a lot of attention. None of that matters. Payton went from an unknown guy with wild hair that Rob Hennigan traded for, to a shoe-in to be the franchise’s starting point guard moving forward. The kid has the two-way tenacity and court vision every great floor general needs. Oh, and his chemistry with backcourt mate Victor Oladipo is an ever-growing thing of beauty.



Obviously Elfrid has the first back-to-back triple-doubles for a rookie since Antoine Walker did it back in 1997, but Payton has been outstanding since the calendar flipped to 2015.

In the 25 games since the All-Star Break, Elfrid has averaged 11.4 ppg, 8.4 apg, and 5.5 rpg on 43.3 FG%, 35.0 3PT% (7-of-20 from deep!), and 57.3 FT%. He’s shooting 73.3 FT% through 7 games in April. Payton’s starting to knock down free throws and jump shots. That should terrify the rest of the Association. So does his dunking. There are few point guards that dunk with as much ferocity as Elfrid Payton. Russell Westbrook and that’s about it. Oh, and did I mention Elfrid can pass? Payton is going to fall just shy of beating Anfernee Hardaway‘s Magic record for most assists in a season.

I think the best thing Elfrid has going for him is his personality. He’s shy in interviews, but nothing makes him hesitate on an NBA court. He’s so comfortable and free flowing when he commands the offense. He also might lead the league in most steals before his opponent crosses the halfcourt line. Elf Lord is his own fullcourt press. Payton is humble and truthfully thinks ‘team first’. And you can sense he’s going to get better. Elfrid has outstanding work ethic and is quite mature for his age.

It’s not easy to adjust to the NBA, let alone playing all 82 games while getting used to the raised competition. Payton never hit ‘the wall’ and he deserves plenty of praise. In an era where more injuries seem to be occurring and teams rest their rosters more than ever before, playing all 82 becomes very impressive each passing year.

Elfrid knows he can and will be more vocal next season on the court, no matter who the new Head Coach is that comes in. Payton’s earned the respect of all of his peers and won’t be as shy to challenge teammates who are not pulling their weight on both ends of the court next season. Can’t wait.



Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Magic Clinch 5th-Worst NBA Record with Loss in Miami

2015 April 13
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Joel Auerbach

AP Photo/Joel Auerbach

That’s basically the only good news that came out of the Orlando Magic losing 100-93 to the Miami Heat down in South beach on Monday night. The 25-56 Magic only played well in the fourth quarter, which makes the final scoreline respectable. When it comes time for the NBA Lottery, the Magic are now guaranteed to have the 5th-best odds to win the #1 selection for this offseason’s NBA Draft as they have locked up the 5th-worst record in the Association.

Orlando only shot 41.2 FG% and got out-rebounded 50-41. Victor Oladipo actually played well and finished with 30 points. The 7th time in his young career the sophomore has scored that many points. Tobias Harris finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Hassan Whiteside led Miami with a career-high tying 24 points to go with 13 rebounds and 5 blocks. Dwyane Wade added 22 points. Orlando also failed to eliminate the Heat from the playoffs which hurts even more for Magic fans.


Below is the full game recap.

read more…

A Laughably Long List of Potential Magic Coaching Candidates

2015 April 12
by Adam Papageorgiou


Even if the Orlando Magic win their final two games of the season, that would still only give interim Head Coach James Borrego a 12-18 record heading into the offseason. I love the guy – everyone does – but that’s not good enough to be considered for the full-time position. The Magic are playing better under Borrego and lead assistant Igor Kokoskov since Jacque Vaughn was let go, but there are still way too many inconsistencies that can’t go unnoticed with how the team peforms. The Magic most likely need a clean slate in their coaching ranks as much as they need some player transactions. The players I’ll focus on in another piece.

I believe that the Magic ideally need someone who has multiple years of NBA head coaching experience for multiple teams. The front office seems open to bringing in another assistant or college guy, but that’s more risky considering that the Magic must make the playoffs next season. Also, how much player personnel power will the new Head Coach want?

Thankfully, there’s an outrageously long list of candidates to interview for the Head Coach spot. So the Magic are bound to find the right fit.

Let’s take a look.

read more…