Magic Sign Jameer Nelson to Contract Extension
By Nick Adams | October 31, 2007
The Orlando Magic took another stride in restoring their core team for the future today as they extended Jameer Nelson's contract.
“Jameer (Nelson) is a key part of our foundation,” said Smith. “He is a tremendous leader, both on and off the court, and he will continue to improve as we strive to reach our ultimate goal. We look forward to watching Jameer develop in a Magic uniform for many years to come.”
"I am definitely happy," said Nelson. "I appreciate all the support through this entire process and I think the organization has been top notch in handling the situation."
Nelson (6’, 190, 2/9/82) has played in 218 regular games during his NBA career, all with Orlando, averaging 11.9 ppg., 4.0 apg., 2.8 rpg. and 1.01 stlpg. in 26.3 minpg. He also appeared in four playoff games last season, averaging 14.3 ppg., 3.3 apg. and 3.0 rpg. in 32.3 minpg.
The players and Coach Stan Van Gundy were also pleased with the news.
"We have now got a good core of guys locked up now for a while which really enables you to start the process of building a solid team," stated Van Gundy.
"I am really happy for Jameer," added Dwight Howard. "I gave him a big hug when I saw him for the first time today. It makes our team better for the future and I know he has been waiting for this day for a long time."
"It is a relief because you always want to have an understanding of what your future is going to be like," commented Nelson, "and I understand it a little better now."
Originally selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by Denver, Nelson was acquired by the Magic on draft night (Jun. 24, 2004) in exchange for a future first round draft pick. Nelson was named to the 2004-05 NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
Nelson spent four seasons at Saint Joseph’s University, averaging 16.8 ppg., 5.7 apg., 4.6 rpg. and 2.05 stlpg. in 125 career games. He left as the school’s all-time leader in points (2,094), assists (713) and steals (256). Following his senior season (2003-04), Nelson was the consensus National Player of the Year, earning the Associated Press, Naismith, Rupp, Robertson and Chevrolet Player of the Year awards. He also shared the NABC top player award with Connecticut’s Emeka Okafor. In addition, Nelson was selected as a unanimous First Team All-America by the Associated Press, named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and captured the Francis Pomeroy Naismith Award, signifying the top player in the country 6-feet and under. Nelson had his jersey number 14 retired by the Hawks on April 23, 2004.
It was because of his efforts in college that General Manager Otis Smith and the Magic knew Nelson would soon be the team's future floor general.
"The organization, my teammates, and I believe in myself and even coming out of college Otis was there a lot making it known that they wanted me to be their guy."
Now that the Magic has made Jameer their guy, Nelson is poised and ready to lead the Magic for years to come.
"It is good to have a home."