Denton: Nelson Most Respected Player in Magic Locker Room


By John Denton
Dec. 7, 2013

HOUSTON – In many ways, Jameer Nelson is a basketball survivor in that he is still here as the Orlando Magic’s point guard long after many draft analysts, skeptics and opposing players assumed he would be.

Thought by some to be a too-small, shoot-first two-guard in a point guard’s body, Nelson was passed over on draft night, traded away by the first team to pick him and expected to have a short shelf life at the professional level.

But here he is now, a couple of weeks after starting the 500th game of his career and on the verge of playing in his 600th game on Sunday night, and he’s easily the most respected player in the Orlando Magic locker room. Nelson knows that he has lasted much longer in the NBA than most expected, and while he takes great pride in that fact, he also uses it as fuel to push himself through a 10th NBA season.

``I always used that (doubting) as motivation when I was young and I still have that chip on my shoulder to be the best player that I can be,’’ said Nelson, whose Magic (6-13) face the Houston Rockets (14-7) on Sunday at 7 p.m. ``When I step on that court, I want to be consistent. Not many people can say that I’m not consistent in my approach to the game. With the way I carry myself on and off the court, I take pride in representing myself, my family and my organization well.’’


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