WDBO Sports Director Scott Anez has seen, or listened to, every Orlando Magic game ever played! A local boy who graduated from Lake Brantley High School and UCF, Scott began his career by covering the Magic's inaugural season in 1989 and he is known as the Voice of the Magic Fan in Orlando. This is Scott's 21st season hosting FM 96.5 and AM 580 Newstalk WDBO Inside Magic, the highest rated sports talk show in Orlando. He also serves as Broadcast Host for the Orlando Magic Radio Network. Scott shares his unique take on what's happening at Two Magic Place and beyond with ANEZ SEZ. Read more of Scott's previous blogs at the Anez Sez archive or at http://580wdbo.com.
Posted by Scott Anez, Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 3:30 PM
What I Learned on Day One
I attended my 24th Orlando Magic Media Day on Monday. We've come a long way since those days at the Orlando Rec Center.
I must tell you that this was one of the more subdued Media Days in Magic history.
But, after last year's circus led by ringmaster Dwight Howard, Monday's low-pitched, low-keyed atmosphere was much appreciated at One Magic Place.
Here's what else I learned on Day one of the 2012-13 NBA season in Orlando:
...This team, despite what the national experts are telling you, is not gonna be as bad as you may think.
Of course, this team's success will have much to do with any potential deals that G.M. Rob Hennigan pulls off during the season. However, you take a starting lineup of Jameer Nelson, Aaron Afflalo, Hedo Turkoglu, Big Baby and Gustavo Ayon--that starting five is, at its best, very competitive. Obviously, this team lacks a true go-to-guy---but that is not unusual. We didn't have that guy even when Dwight Howard graced us with his presence. I think this team, on a given night, will be able to beat any team in the league.
...Speaking of Dwight, his absence was palpable.
D-12 left a gaping hole in this franchise--not just literally, but figuratively as well. While the Magic will greatly miss his on-court presence, the absence of Dwight's jovial, magnetic personality really jumped out at me Monday. Look, no matter what we may think of Dwight and the decision he and his people made, no matter what you may think of the angst and the frustration he caused us all over the last few seasons, it became very clear to me that it's gonna take a while for this team to lose Dwight's shadow. He was the face of this franchise for so long. You cannot ignore that fact.
...Make no mistake about it--this team is gonna be motivated!
You take a look at each and every one of these guys on this roster, including the coaching staff, and each of them has something to prove. Each of them has a chip on the shoulder for one reason or another. I'll give you a couple of examples---Jameer Nelson. He wants to prove he can return to All Star form while playing without his buddy Dwight Howard for the first time in his pro career. JJ Redick is playing out the final year of a three-year contract. Hedo Turkoglu, after an injury-riddled 2011-2012, hears the naysayers decrying that his career is not long for this world. Big Baby Davis wants desperately to prove to Orlando that his stellar play late in the season and on into the 2012 playoffs was no fluke. Don't forget about the rookie head coach--Jacque Vaughn wants to prove to the world he is worthy of nod the DeVos family gave him a few months ago.
...Mention the 'R' word at your own peril!
Re-building is not in the Magic's vocabulary this year. Don't even attempt to try to get any one of them to say it---not gonna happen. And, by the way, this is not 'Heart and Hustle' either. There's no looking back now. This franchise is pointing toward the future. Hopefully, it's a future filled with more W's than R's.
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