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Aaron Gordon Chosen for U.S. Select Team for July Training

2016 June 7
by Adam Papageorgiou

agusa

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon is still riding the high of the February All-Star Weekend dunk contest he should have won up in Canada. Here’s some more great news for the 6’9″ forward: Aaron has been named as one of the 25 players chosen for the 2016 USA Men’s Select Team.

The Select Team will train July 18th through 21st with the Men’s National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas as they prepare to go for gold at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this August.

As you can assume by the old photo above, Gordon has previous experience with USA Basketball. He’s got U16 Championship (2011; Gold medal) and U19 World Championship (2013; MVP; Gold medal) experience. Now that Aaron is actually healthy and fully fit for an offseason, this call-up was expected in many ways.

Below is the rest of the 25-man Select Team roster:

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Former Magic Man Sean Rooks Passes Away at Age 46

2016 June 7
by Adam Papageorgiou

rooksmagic

Former NBA player and current coach Sean Rooks passed away at the age of 46 years old on Tuesday. The cause of death has not been made public yet. The University of Arizona product was selected 30th overall in the 1992 NBA Draft. Rooks played 12 seasons in the NBA. The last team he played for was with the Orlando Magic in the 2003-2004 season.

The Magic’s ’03-’04 campaign was all but over when the calendar hit February 2004. Orlando was 14-42 when the front office made a deal on February 19th – just before the trade deadline – with the (then) New Orleans Hornets. The Magic shipped away guard Shammond Williams and brought back the 6’10” Rooks for some big man depth.

The center played 20 games off the bench for the Magic, averaging 3.1 ppg and 2.4 rpg on 35.1 FG% and 95.5 FT%. Once that 21-win season concluded for the Magic, Rooks never played a regular season contest for an NBA team again.

After his playing career ended, Rooks would transition his career to coaching where he worked for a few D-League teams, the Phoenix Suns, and, most recently, the Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.

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Penny & Pops Podcast: 1995 & 2009 Finals Format, Defending Courtney Lee

2016 June 3

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On the fourth episode of the Penny & Pops Podcast, we examine how the current 2-2-1-1-1 format of the NBA Finals could have benefited both the 1995 and 2009 Orlando Magic Finals teams. Unfortunately, both dealt with the 2-3-2 format back then. There’s some breakdown of how those series against the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers played out.

We also defend Courtney Lee and the unnecessary blame he continues to receive for Game 2 of the Lakers series in ’09. It’s just lazy for anyone to truly point their finger at ‘Leesus’ for missing that lay-up considering everything that happened in that sequence.

Finally, in honor of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, we each had to spell 3 full names of Magic players from the past.

 

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.

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Okaro White to Play for Magic at Summer League

2016 June 3
by Adam Papageorgiou

okaro

The Orlando Summer League begins the first week of July, and the Magic have to fill up two rosters. Rosters won’t be finalized until after the June 23rd NBA Draft, but names from overseas are starting to leak out in regards to players already agreeing to Summer League team opportunities. David Pick reports that 23-year-old forward Okaro White will play for one of the two Magic teams.

 

 

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We Have Not Scratched the Surface of Mario Hezonja’s Talent

2016 June 2
by Adam Papageorgiou

NBA Global Games Rio 2015 - Orlando Magic v Flamengo

This is an MBO series of 2015-2016 Orlando Magic seasonal player recaps and evaluations. Throughout this month of June – as the NBA Draft and free agency approach – we’ll dive into statistics, highlights, and more as we dissect the 14-man roster and figure out who should stay and who should go as we enter a crucial offseason in the franchise’s history.

Previously in the series:

#5 Oladipo

 

Probably the biggest ‘casualty’ from Scott Skiles‘ one year as coach in Orlando was Mario Hezonja. A ‘casualty’ in a sense that the #5 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft didn’t get to fully showcase his offensive capabilities, and arsenal that got him drafted in the first place. It may have benefited him in the long run (it may not), but Skiles was so driven to vastly improve Mario’s defense that the rookie found himself getting benched after numerous brief stints on the floor, causing the Croatian sensation to maybe look over his shoulder a bit too much.

Mario is the biggest critic of himself. He gave Skiles and the coaching staff deserved praise on several occasions this year for making him more accountable on the defensive end. You’ll have to forgive him for heavily believing that Mario should have been on the court more.

The 21-year-old found him named neglected from Rookie of the Year voting and All-Rookie Team ballot collections. That’s okay though, Magic fans saw enough glimpses from Mario that proved he can be a fantastic player in this league. There’s no shortage of confidence with him, and I’m optimistic that Frank Vogel will help unleash – rather than harness – it.

Mario’s regular season opener in that tight home loss to the Washington Wizards so Hezonja drop an efficient 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting in 25 minutes. Skiles sort of teased us, because Mario wouldn’t play 25 minutes again in a game until he recorded 27 minutes in that blowout loss at Cleveland on January 2nd. Yikes.

Through the first 36 games of his rookie season, Mario only notched 10+ points just 5 times. He couldn’t get touches, and Mario never saw consistent rotational minutes during that period. His career high was 12 points until he finally began to get some burn during the January and February team collapse, tallying 17 points in an desperate January 31st home victory over the Boston Celtics.

2015-2016: 79 games, 9 starts, 17.9 mpg, 6.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 43.3 FG%, 34.9 3PT%, 90.7 FT%

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Orlando’s Offseason Blueprint Depends on Victor Oladipo’s Fate

2016 June 1
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

This is an MBO series of 2015-2016 Orlando Magic seasonal player recaps and evaluations. Throughout this month of June– as the NBA Draft and free agency approach – we’ll dive into statistics, highlights, and more as we dissect the 14-man roster and figure out who should stay and who should go as we enter a crucial offseason in the franchise’s history.

I concluded last year’s Orlando Magic player recap series with Victor Oladipo. I feel the need to begin with him this time.

As a team leader/captain, Oladipo certainly had a role in the failures of January and February when the squad needed on-court guidance. The team had chosen 3 team leaders to begin the campaign: Tobias Harris, Channing Frye, and ‘Dipo. Well, the two cousins got traded at the deadline in February. ‘Dipo had the only keys to the convertible, but was never able to drive his teammates back into the playoff hunt.

That’s why in the April interviews, Vic and almost all of his teammates said that the front office should bring in veteran help that will hold all accountable.

2015-2016: 72 games, 52 starts, 33.0 mpg, 16.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.6 spg, 43.8 FG%, 34.8 3PT%, 83.0 FT%

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Heat to Host Magic in Miami for October 18th Preseason Game

2016 June 1
by Adam Papageorgiou

orlmia

The first Orlando Magic game of the 2016-2017 campaign has been revealed. Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel is reporting that the Miami Heat will host your Orlando Magic on Tuesday October 18th at the AmericanAirlines Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.

Tickets apparently go on sale Thursday. So if you’re a Magic fan eager to watch the pinstriped patrol down in Miami, you’ll get your chance.

 

“Tickets for the three games at AmericanAirlines Arena will go on sale Thursday at noon at HEAT.com, Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX. Sales at the AmericanAirlines Arena box office will begin Friday at 10 a.m.”

 

Why is it ‘AmericanAirlines’ and not just American Airlines? Anyway, both teams could look very different from what we saw in the ’15-’16 campaign.

I’m actually excited about the possibility of Frank Vogel and Erik Spoelstra rekindling their mini-rivalry into a gigantic sunshine state rivalry. It’s time the Magic became kings of the state in basketball again.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.

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Orlando Gets Another Adidas Christmas Jersey

2016 June 1
by Adam Papageorgiou
16xmasuni

Photo courtesy of Paul Lukas and ESPN.

Just like last year, Paul Lukas of ESPN has revealed to the basketball world the uniform designs that Adidas has planned for the NBA this Christmas. The Orlando Magic get one as well.

 

 

Though fans will be able to purchase the uniforms, this does not mean that the Magic will play on Christmas Day. There will be 10 teams and 5 games once again on that occasion, but nothing will be officially known in regards to which squads will participate until the NBA reveals the full 2016-2017 campaign schedule later this summer in August.

The Magic have not played on Christmas since they opened the 2011-2012 lockout season by losing in Oklahoma City. Despite the excitement of hiring Frank Vogel as the new coach, the Magic would have to come up with some thrilling NBA Draft and free agency moves to truly be considered by the league to have Orlando showcased on December 25th.

If the new 2016 Christmas jersey design looks familiar, your eyes don’t deceive you.

 

“This marks the first time Adidas has repeated a design concept for the NBA’s Christmas attire, following four straight seasons of distinct designs.

2016-17 will be Adidas’ final season outfitting the NBA, with Nike slated to take over the league’s uniform contract in 2017-18. Adidas’ lame duck status may explain why it’s going with the same Christmas designs. It’s unclear what Nike’s plans are for the annual Christmas promotion.”

 

I do think it’s an upgrade over last year’s Christmas jersey. As you can see, the font hasn’t changed. The numbers still look strange, and cursive is still horrendous. But I hated the cream look. I should only see cream in items like root beer, not anything Orlando Magic themed.

 

15xmasuni

 

I spotted very few people – I can count the occasions on one hand – wearing the cream Christmas jerseys in Orlando or at Amway Center. So if you like this style, you would actually have a pretty unique uniform for your Magic collection.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.

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Re-Watching the Scott Skiles End-of-Season Exit Interview

2016 May 28
by Adam Papageorgiou

skiles exit

I can’t help but continue to go back to the last time former Orlando Magic Head Coach Scott Skiles talked publicly. That came on April 14th in the end-of-season interviews held at Amway Center. The night before, the Magic had just gotten beat in Charlotte by the Hornets.

It certainly has worked in Orlando’s favor now with the Frank Vogel hiring, but who would have thought that the below footage would be the last we’d see of Skiles as a Magic employee?

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Penny & Pops Podcast: Vogel, Fournier, Free Agency, All-Star

2016 May 26

New MBO Facebook Profile Pic

It’s been a few days since the official introduction by the Orlando Magic, which means Frank Vogel already has a longer coaching tenure than Billy Donovan. Magic fans can relax and rejoice as we reflect a bit on Vogel’s official introduction. We discuss possible Magic free agency targets, and what to do with Evan Fournier. Finally, we end the show with CEO Alex Martins bringing up Orlando’s bid for another NBA All-Star Weekend.

Happy to show off the new microphone.

 

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.

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