Denton: 2013-14 Magic Season Preview


Hennigan has said repeatedly that one of the things he’s learned while helping to build teams in San Antonio, Oklahoma City and now Orlando is that you never want a squad to be too young or too old. That’s why even though the Magic have the 20-year-old Harkless, 21-year-olds in Harris and Oladipo and a 23-year-old Vucevic, Hennigan has made it a point to surround those players with seasoned veterans.

Jameer Nelson is set to become just the second player to wear a Magic jersey for 10 seasons, joining first overall draft pick Nick Anderson. Nelson made it a point to reach out to Oladipo over the summer to offer his support and he said he tries to give the rookie at least one piece of advice each day. And it’s no coincidence that Harkless’ dressing stall is immediately next to Nelson’s in the Magic locker room.

``As veterans we try to instill some of the things that we know in terms of how to win and how to be professional to these younger guys,’’ said Nelson, Orlando’s all-time leader in assists. ``Even when you lose you can take something positive out of games, but losing can never be acceptable and that’s what we’re trying to teach around here. We’re going through this together, but we all know it’s a process.’’

Arron Afflalo, a veteran of six NBA seasons, admitted that it was challenging last season to endure a 20-62 season. No one took losing harder on a nightly basis than the extremely prideful Afflalo, a self-made player who has boosted his scoring average all six years he’s been in the NBA. He said his challenge now is continue to push Orlando’s young players and not to be broken mentally by the growing pains that could come again this season.



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