Tag: Orlando


NBA All-Star starting teams pretty much set already


You can keep voting on the NBA All-Star Game players through the end of the month — you can vote every day between now and then, if your heart so desires.

It’s not going to matter, the All-Star Game starters are pretty locked in.

The NBA released the second round of All-Star balloting returns on Thursday and what jumps off the page is that in every category there is a pretty steep drop off after the first two starters positions. The closest race is Dirk Nowitzki chasing Blake Griffin for the second West forward spot and Dirk only has 57 percent of the votes of Griffin, trailing him by more than 260,000 votes. Nobody is catching them as starters. And the voters only choose the starters (coaches fill out the rest of the roster). So, you’ve done your job.

The All-Star Game is Feb. 26 from Orlando.

Here are the results, which show no changes since last week. Dwight Howard still has gotten more votes than anyone, although Kobe Bryant is now close to him. But you’re not going to see any meaningful changes without a massive campaign by someone that catches fire.

Eastern Conference

Forwards: LeBron James (Miami) 972,580; Carmelo Anthony (New York) 779,945; Amar’e Stoudemire (New York) 281,617; Kevin Garnett (Boston) 268,980; Chris Bosh (Miami) 209,640.

Guards: Derrick Rose (Chicago) 1,040,210; Dwyane Wade (Miami) 972,015; Rajon Rondo (Boston) 394,672; Ray Allen (Boston) 274,233; Deron Williams (New Jersey) 143,941.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orlando) 1,161,797; Joakim Noah (Chicago) 141,683; Tyson Chandler (New York) 107,735; Joel Anthony (Miami) 67,210; JaVale McGee (Washington) 41,249.

Western Conference

Forwards: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) 973,152; Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers) 619,913; Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas) 354,434; Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers) 327,596; Kevin Love (Minnesota) 232,656.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) 1,110,379; Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) 835,026; Ricky Rubio (Minnesota) 248,423; Steve Nash (Phoenix) 188,537; Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City).

Centers: Andrew Bynum (Los Angeles Lakers) 777,365; DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers) 214,883; Marc Gasol (Memphis) 182,992; Nenê(Denver) 144,066; Marcin Gortat (Phoenix) 92,511.

If season cancelled, Magic would owe Orlando $2.8 million


Yes, there are some owners willing to miss the season to crush the union.

But there also are motivations for other owners to get a deal done.

Take the Orlando Magic, for instance. While they would love tools in the new deal to make it more likely they can keep Dwight Howard, they also have some motivations to make sure there is a season — $2.8 million reasons, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

City government officials emphasize that the Magic are obligated to pay the city $2.8 million even if the entire season is canceled, so the city has some degree of protection from the effects of work stoppage, especially as it incurs some expenses in running the building.

“It was one of our lead negotiating points in the contract when we did the negotiations with the Magic,” the executive director of the city’s venues, Allen Johnson, told me in September. “We never anticipated a [lockout]. We never wanted one.”

The city would get more revenue if there are games, but that’s a nice little insurance policy for a municipality that, like every other city in the nation, is facing fiscal challenges.

But it also would be a challenge for the Magic ownership, which will have no revenue coming in but will have to cut checks to cities, sponsors, ticket holders and more. They will be writing checks they don’t want to write. And nobody will be happy.

Better to settle now and be playing by Christmas.

Dwight Howard among latest planning charity games

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks
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As the NBA lockout drags on, the number of charity games featuring NBA players keeps increasing.

The latest big name to say he is planning a big charity game in an NBA city is Dwight Howard, who tweeted it out this weekend, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Promising festivities akin to “a Magic All-Star weekend,” Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard said over Twitter on Saturday that he’s putting together events for Nov. 11-13 that will include an exhibition game that Sunday at UCF.

“Orlando is gonna love what’s about to happen,” Howard wrote.

A couple of days ago, Howard floated over Twitter the idea of an “old-school vs. new-school exhibition game/weekend” in Orlando, and it appears that he’s following through on his plans.

“Old-school vs. new-school?” So Jason Kidd vs. Justin Bieber at point guard?

On a separate note, Josh Howard is apparently planning one for the Dallas Area, according to Michael Lee at the Washington Post.

Howard is looking at the same weekend as the other Howard, which could be an issue. But there are plenty of NBA players looking for things to do right now, reports the Post.

With the lockout wiping out the first two weeks of the regular season and more cancellations expected to follow after failed negotiations last week, Howard is taking advantage of the opening to host a charity game on Nov. 12. Players expected to participate include Howard’s Wizards teammates John Wall, Andray Blatche and Nick Young; his former Mavericks teammates Jason Terry, Marquis Daniels, DeSagana Diop and Quinton Ross; Portland Trail Blazers forward and Dallas native LaMarcus Aldridge; New Orleans Hornets guard Jarrett Jack; Mavericks guard Corey Brewer; Minnesota forward Anthony Randolph; Toronto forward Reggie Evans; Sacramento Kings draft pick Isaiah Thomas; and former NBA player Damon Jones.

Expect to see more of these games until we get to see games that actually mean something.

All-Star Game in Orlando may have December deadline

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Already, the deadline has passed for the first week of the preseason — the NBA has cancelled it. Without a handshake agreement in the next week, the rest of the preseason is at risk as well. Not long after that comes the start of the regular season.

But what about the All-Star Game? In 1999, after the last lockout, the All-Star Game was one of the things sacrificed to make sure teams could get 50 games crammed in before the playoffs.

The deadline for the All-Star Game scheduled for Orlando this February is mid-December, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

If it is lost, it will create a log jam of future games. The 2013 All-Star game is reportedly heading to Houston. The 2014 game has yet to be awarded but the owners of the new Barclay Center in Brooklyn that will be home to the Nets want the game as soon as possible. It could be 2015 before Orlando gets another kick at the can.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.

Marcin Gortat thinks New York City is a “dirty, dirty place.” And it smells bad.

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New York City isn’t for everyone. For one thing, it has way too many Yankee fans in it for my taste. And you have to like the true urban experience.

Marcin Gortat and the Magic are in Orlando for a game tonight at MSG against the Knicks. Somehow when people visit NYC they always get asked about how cool it is there and wouldn’t you want to live there. Gortat, not a big fan as he told the Orlando Sentinel (via Slam).

“The only thing I remember about New York is — it’s sad — but it’s terribly dirty,” Gortat said. “And it smells bad, too. I’m sorry to say that, and I know New York fans will hate me probably. But it’s an incredibly city, great city, great fans… I love the fans and I love the famous people. I remember my rookie year I was sitting in the second row trying to find as many famous people as possible. But now, the memories I got is it’s just a dirty, dirty place.”

Consider Gortat just kind of a counterbalance to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

Still, if my choices are New York and Orlando, well, buy me a Yankee hat.