Update: Nelson (groin) felt well enough to play Tuesday, but coach Jacque Vaughn held him out as a precaution, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
There are some songs that become staples of basketball arenas for years: ” Whoomp! (There It Is) ,” ” Cotton Eye Joe ,” ” Rock and Roll Part 2 ,” etc. They are as much a part of the live NBA experience as sneaker squeaks and overpriced nachos, the soundtrack to the game we all love. It’s also very hard to predict how and why any particular song might rise to that level of ubiquity. Sometimes, a songwriter just happens upon a sound that makes every sports-loving crowd go wild.
At the risk of getting ahead of myself, I think we have happened upon the next arena craze. Orlando Magic forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis, whom we already know to be a stellar dancer , is now trying his hand at songwriting. You can hear a snippet of the track, titled “Big Baby Gon’ Turn It Up,” above (via TBJ ). Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has more details :
Grab a pull quote, and run with it. Pump it up to 700 or so words, and file away. We do it every day at Ball Don’t Lie; but if we feel like we’re punching the clock and writing just for writing’s sake, we pull back. We’re not going to insult you as readers and knowledgeable NBA fans by pretending we can churn out double-digit posts on a day where absolutely nothing is happening in the NBA. Better to just give you a few things, as you scroll around, than to insult you with a lot of noise produced just for the sake of producing.
We kind of wish the Orlando Sentinel had done the same thing with Magic guard J.J. Redick’s pull quote from the other day. Here’s Redick’s frustration , as his afterthought Magic head into what is surely going to be a disastrous year in the wake of the team’s bungled attempts at supporting, coddling, and eventually trading Dwight Howard:
“There’s like five teams that matter in this league,” Redick said last week during media day. “If you’re in a small market … right now it’s the Oklahoma City Thunder … but if you’re in small market, you don’t matter. That’s frustrating. You want to compete, you want to get your recognition, you want people to respect you. So in a sense, that’s frustrating.”
Probably not the most accurate take, but a general enough one to send semi-fans and general columnists through the roof.
NBA fans are devoted to their favorite teams, often spending lots of money for little in return. For the most part, that transaction is accepted — fans stay loyal, and teams reward them with wins, playoff appearances, and sometimes even championships. Or, like me, those people are Golden State Warriors fans, and they spend entire decades feeling bitter due to little return on their investments.
However, regardless of a team’s success rate, there are very few instances in which a team has reason to pay a fan with real-live American (or Canadian) currency. Of course, being the face of an advertising campaign would seem to qualify. And that’s why one Orlando Magic fan is suing the franchise for using her image on ads all over town. From Stephen Hudak for the Orlando Sentinel (via TBJ ):
Kristi Slavin is suing the team for plastering her photo on billboards, magazines, and city buses without her permission this past season, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Dwight Howard recently took out a full page ad in the Orlando Sentinel aimed at Magic fans. Can his image ever fully recover?
Now that trade talks between the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic have fallen through and are basically dead (per ESPN’s Ric Bucher), there aren’t many realistic landing spots for Dwight Howard.
According to the above report, negotiations fell through because the Nets “couldn’t keep going back and forth with Orlando.”
Also included in the report, the Nets had to make a decision on Brook Lopez, who was reportedly on the verge of putting pen to paper with either the Portland Trail Blazers or Charlotte Bobcats.
Talks aren’t completely dead with other possible trading partners, though. Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix tweeted the following quote from Magic GM Rob Hennigan regarding the situation:
Magic GM Rob Hennigan: “We’re not confining ourselves to a finite timeline. We’re confining ourselves to a timeline we are comfortable with”
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) July 11, 2012
That would indicate that the Magic haven’t completely given up on shipping Howard elsewhere for a king’s ransom, leaving room for other teams to step in and try to get a deal done.
One of those teams could be the Los Angeles Lakers, according to the Washington Post’s Matt Brooks (via Hoopsworld). Per the report, the Houston Rockets could join the Magic and Lakers in a three-team trade that would send 24-year-old center Andrew Bynum to the Rockets, Howard to Los Angeles and a slew of draft picks, prospects and salary cap relief to Orlando.
If that prospective deal comes anywhere close to fruition, Howard would be absolutely crazy to shoot it down.
Reason No. 1 being that he would be that much closer to playing for the Magic next season if another deal fails to happen. According to the Orlando Sentinel‘s Brian K. Schmitz via Twitter, Hennigan made that possibility well-known:
Hennigan also said he spoke with Dwight today and added “there’s a chance, yeah” that Howard could return to ORL. Unbelievable.
— Brian K. Schmitz (@MagicInsider) July 11, 2012
It’s nearly impossible to imagine Howard playing in Orlando next season, but if the Magic and their hopeful trade partners continue to hit the wall in negotiations, that outcome becomes increasingly more likely.
Howard clearly needs a fresh start elsewhere. His time in Orlando must come to an end after this dreadful, prolonged fiasco that has surrounded him for the better part of the last year.
Why wouldn’t Howard want to flee to the West Coast and play for a championship contender?
The Lakers just added Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade, and they still have Pau Gasol on their roster, as well as a guy named Kobe Bryant.
One of the only reasons that make sense is that Howard doesn’t want to be compared to the long list of legendary centers who have played for the franchise. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal have all donned the purple and yellow, and all have striking resumes for Howard to compare his to.
Whatever Howard feels regarding that situation is irrelevant to the fact that the Lakers have the makings of a championship team thanks to their addition of Nash.
Howard has never played with a point guard as fluid and creative as Nash, which should be even more enticing.
There’s no reason for Howard to remain in Orlando any longer. Surely the fans love him, but his reputation will be forever tainted by the elongated charade he has put on.
The 26-year-old, three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year seems to be running out of options—as do the Magic. If a deal is struck between the Magic and Lakers brass, Howard would be wise to hop on board with the move.
Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com
The rumor mill has been going wild with Dwight Howard news, but the trade might finally be nearing its completion.
In the basic framework of the mega-deal, Howard would be sent to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.
According to Fred Kerber of the New York Post, more teams are needed to add draft picks to the package and help with salary concerns. The Cleveland Cavaliers are also trying to obtain Kris Humphries.
There have been as many as 14 players and four teams involved as the scope of the deal expanded to include a fourth team as the Nets seek another first-round pick to appease the Magic.
One of the teams being sought out to facilitate the trade is the Clippers, who would receive second-year Nets guard MarShon Brooks for a first-round pick. Brooks’ agent, Seth Cohen, confirmed talks being held with the Clippers for his client. Other teams also have been contacted.
These additional teams getting involved are making a smart move by getting into the blockbuster trade. The Nets are willing to give up talented players in order to acquire Howard, and the rest of the league should be waiting with open arms.
The trade will allow the Cavaliers to immediately improve their team by adding one of the best rebounders in the league in Humphries. The Clippers could not only get a great young scorer in MarShon Brooks, but also block a potential alternative trade of Howard to the Lakers.
ESPN’s Ric Bucher also reports that the Charlotte Bobcats could replace the Cavs in the deal. Teams have been afraid to commit, but they will be better off after the trade.
From the Orlando Magic perspective, this might be the only chance they get to unload Howard and get anything in return. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel explained, “Howard’s reluctance to sign long term with any franchise other than the Nets has inhibited the Magic’s ability to obtain palatable offers for him from other teams.”
The team was handcuffed from the beginning. Now all they can do is make the best out of a bad situation.
Other rumors that are swirling involve free agents trying to make decisions about their future.
Antawn Jamison is considering signing with the Charlotte Bobcats, according to the Charlotte Observer. While this would be a great story about him returning home, this move does not make sense for either side.
The veteran power forward has not been a part of many winning teams, so he should look to enter the rotation of a contender and help off the bench. The Bobcats are rebuilding and do not need a 36-year-old taking over the offense and taking too many shots.
Courtney Lee is also attempting to find the right fit for his future, and according to WEEI Boston, he has more than eight suitors. There seems to be a connection with Boston, and he would fit well as a scorer that can enter the rotation and immediately give the team depth. His shooting ability can help replace Ray Allen while helping the squad get younger.
These rumors and more make sure the excitement of the NBA season never really ends.
Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com
It’s no surprise that Dwight Howard wants to be off the Orlando Magic.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports that the six-time All-Star favors a move to the Brooklyn Nets, which, in turn, rules out a potential trade with the Los Angeles Lakers for center Andrew Bynum.
With the Magic unsatisfied in previous Nets’ offers, a third team could emerge as the hinge that opens the door for Howard to land in Brooklyn this summer.
That team is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
How It Would Work
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio recently reported the Cavs are interested in getting involved in a sign-and-trade that would send Kris Humphries to Cleveland. The Cavaliers would likely also receive guard MarShon Brooks in addition to a first-round pick.
The trade could depend on the Cavs’ unwillingness to take on Humphries’ contract—an estimated $8 or $9 million—for more than one year. Humphries is an unrestricted free agent, but Cleveland would only use him to stockpile future draft picks, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski says.
In return, the Nets would get their man. The Magic would likely land center Brook Lopez, a first-round pick and the ability to offload a high-priced veteran, such as Hedo Turkoglu or Jason Richardson.
The Cavs’ Role
Cleveland can be that ever-so-important hinge in this trade. They need to take on Humphries’ contract for one year. Although there is little interest in the 27-year-old, the Cavaliers would leverage him to add draft picks.
Cleveland already has two first-rounders next year.
Furthermore, this deal depends on whether or not the Nets re-sign Lopez. Brooklyn head coach Avery Johnson recently said (via New York Daily News) the organization’s goal was to get the former Stanford standout back in a Nets jersey, but don’t be surprised if Howard ends up on the East Coast.
With the Cavaliers—and now most likely the Magic—on a youth crusade, it shouldn’t be long before the big-spending Nets look for a third team to make this trade happen.
Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com
Jameer Nelson is staying with the Magic, the free-agent point told the Orlando Sentinel.