3-D Era Remembered


3-D Era Remembered Dennis' Magical Moments Games I'll Never Forget Career Statistics


3-D Era Remembered
By Scott Wallin

Dennis Scott was conducting pre-draft visits with NBA teams in 1990 when he and former General Manager Pat Williams struck up a conversation. Williams asked Scott the “where do you see yourself in 10 years?” question and the Georgia Tech star didn’t hesitate, mapping out his 10-year vision rather specifically.

“I said ‘hopefully, we’ve gone to the Finals and won a championship or two. I’ll probably come back and want your job as general manager. If not, I’ll take Jack Givens’ job and do TV,’ ” Scott said. “That’s exactly what I told him 16 years ago.”

Orlando chose Scott with the No. 4 overall choice and he immediately endeared himself to fans with a charismatic personality and flashy smile, not to mention his ability to connect on long-range jump shots. In his NBA debut, Scott hit three three-pointers in a three-minute span while wearing No. 3.


























DENNIS DAYS IN O-TOWN
Dennis Scott remains one of the most prolific shooters in Orlando Magic history. Here's a look at where he stands in a number of categories in the Magic career record book:

Games Played
Nick Anderson 692
Darrell Armstrong 502
Dennis Scott 446
Jeff Turner 411
Horace Grant 411
Pat Garrity 392
Scott Skiles 384
Anfernee Hardaway 369
Anthony Bowie 350
McGrady/O'Neal 295
Minutes
Nick Anderson 22,440
Darrell Armstrong 14,234
Horace Grant 14,233
Anfernee Hardaway 13,721
Dennis Scott 13,692
Scott Skiles 11,940
Tracy McGrady 11,628
Shaquille O'Neal 11,164
Pat Garrity 9,025
Bo Outlaw 8,824
Points
Nick Anderson 10,650
Tracy McGrady 8,298
Shaquille O'Neal 8,019
Anfernee Hardaway 7,018
Dennis Scott 6,603
Darrell Armstrong 5,898
Scott Skiles 4,966
Horace Grant 4,638
Terry Catledge 3,433
Pat Garrity 3,381
3-Point Field Goals Made
Dennis Scott 981
Nick Anderson 900
Darrell Armstrong 654
Pat Garrity 555
Tracy McGrady 509
Scott Skiles 384
Anfernee Hardaway 366
Mike Miller 351
Brian Shaw 152
Gerald Wilkins 95
Assists
Scott Skiles 2,776
Anfernee Hardaway 2,343
Darrell Armstrong 2,555
Nick Anderson 1,937
Tracy McGrady 1,533
Brian Shaw 1,061
Dennis Scott 1,034
Horace Grant 879
Bo Outlaw 747
Shaquille O'Neal 716
Steals
Nick Anderson 1,004
Darrell Armstrong 830
Anfernee Hardaway 718
Tracy McGrady 452
Dennis Scott 429
Horace Grant 426
Bo Outlaw 374
Scott Skiles 332
Jerry Reynolds 251
Shaquille O'Neal 243
And thus, the “3-D” era was launched.

“I just thank God every day for my personality and my jump shot,” he says.

At 37, Scott says he hasn’t lost his shooting touch or his itch to still play but concedes “I know the league isn’t looking for an old guy who can shoot. They want a young guy who can run and jump to the moon.”

Nonetheless, he has surrounded himself with the game, starting with his position as analyst for the Atlanta Hawks Radio Network.

“It’s just like being a player,” Scott said. “You fly on the plane with the guys, you stay in the same hotel, you have the same camaraderie. I enjoy talking to guys like Joe Johnson, Al Harrington. They’re so young, they’re asking me what’s it like going to the Finals? What’s it like to be in a Game 7? What’s it like breaking the (NBA single-season) three-point record?

“That part for me is gratitude in itself that I’m still associated with the league. Being able to be around the game, being able to articulate what I see and what I’ve gone through, it’s a lot of fun. And when the game is over, my knees don’t hurt.”

While Scott has an impact on players who have made it to the NBA, there is another group who relies on his advice even more. Last May, Scott was named general manager of the Atlanta Vision, one of 34 ABA teams. He is a true hands-on manager, practicing with the team as much as his schedule allows. The Vision is filled with NBA hopefuls who give Scott their full attention.

“It’s like E.F. Hutton,” Scott said. “When I’m talking and they see I’m serious, you can hear a pin drop because guys are focusing on my words and they know I’m not just pie-in-the-sky telling them a story. It’s my experience.”

Scott has guided Atlanta into the 16-team playoffs – gaining attention for publicly offering a contract to embattled All-Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens along the way – and he’s using this ABA experience to hopefully fulfill his 1990 vision of becoming an NBA general manager. In a way, Scott says he and the ABA players aren’t so different in that they all share a goal of proving their NBA value.

“You let them know that if they were as good as they thought they were they wouldn’t be in my gym,” Scott said. “That’s how I start off each practice. I say ‘guys you all have a dream and a passion. The reason I chose to be the general manager of this team is because one day I want to be a general manager in the NBA. So I decided to humble myself and check my ego at the door and say I’m trying to learn how to assemble a team to win a championship.’ ”

While Scott works toward that goal, he’s plenty content with life in broadcasting. He fell in love with the microphone and public speaking in high school when he participated on the drama team, acting out soap opera scenes and role playing with his classmates. He also was greatly impacted by a reporter named James Brown who used to cover Scott’s high school games.

Brown, who has gone on to earn national broadcasting fame with CBS and now as co-host of FOX NFL Sunday, was a role model for Scott.

“He turned down (basketball scholarships to) North Carolina, UCLA, all these other schools to go to Harvard,” Scott said. “I was like ‘wow, Harvard … Ivy League school … African-American guy … smart … and he decides to be a broadcaster.’ He was the first person who said ‘when I’m done playing ball, that’s what I want to do.’ ”

Scott didn’t wait for his career to end to get behind the microphone. While playing for the Magic, he hosted “The Dennis Scott Show” and the “The Highlight Zone” on the weekend.

He later made guest appearances on some Nickelodeon sitcoms and has served as a studio analyst for FSN and as a sideline reporter for CBS. He also participated in the ESPN-produced “Dream Job” reality show, finishing third among six former NBA players who competed for a studio analyst position.

Being on camera comes just as easily as letting it fly from three-point range for Scott.

“Certain guys, they see the camera and they get scared,” Scott said. “For some reason, the camera has always been my best friend.”

In addition to his professional obligations, Scott has three children and a new wife to keep him busy. He and Rachael married a year ago and they have a 6-month-old son, Dennis Scott III.

“I tell people I’m 3-D because I had to earn it shooting threes,” Scott said. “He’s the real 3-D because he’s the third-born Dennis.”

Scott also has a son, Ryan, who just completed his freshman season playing for the College of Charleston. Ryan is a 6-foot-3 guard who honors his father by wearing No. 3. And Scott also has a 13-year-old daughter, Crystal, who he recently gained custody of. Crystal also dabbles in basketball and is an honor roll student.

Scott is excited about returning to Orlando on March 26 when the Magic will honor him during the team’s “Commitment To The Past Nights” program.

“It’s a huge honor,” Scott said. “What makes it so special is that the organization sees the seven-year run we had there was huge. That team was so special that I don’t know if you can ever get a team like that again.

“Myself, Nick (Anderson), Penny (Hardaway) and Shaq (O’Neal) were all drafted there and our careers started there. We were really like Orlando’s kids. We kind of grew up right in front of those diehard fans.”


Scott Wallin, a freelance writer who lives in Oviedo, is a regular contributor to Magic Magazine and orlandomagic.com