When So-So is So Fun



Raquel Chilson

I haven’t been this pumped for a Magic season in many moons. Yes, it’s partly because their No. 1 draft pick, Victor Oladipo, a future All-Star (count on it), played for my Indiana Hoosiers.

But Victor just adds to my resurgent interest in the Magic, which was ignited by last season’s 20-62 clinic in pain management. I’m not kidding—I’m just old school.

The basketball junkie in me was more engaged by the development of young talent like Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic, and rookie coach Jacque Vaughn mixing Xs and Os like a mad scientist, than when the game plan was pounding the ball into the middle to Dwight Howard. That was like watching an oil rig for two hours—a rig that clanked free throws.

But ultimately it was not Diva Dwight or first-round playoff losses that caused my interest in the Magic to waste away over the past decade. It was the thudding predictability of how the game has come to be played in the NBA—a league of the superstars, by the superstars, for the superstars. Bought, paid for and choreographed by TV.

On any given trip down the court in the NBA you can bet your overpriced arena beer on one of two things happening: 1) The ball goes inside to the dominant big guy to back in like a beeping forklift at Home Depot for a dunk or baby hook, or 2) One side of the court is cleared out for the grossly overpaid superstar to do his SportsCenter highlight move or turn the ball over trying.

This mind-numbing game plan requires two things the Magic did not have last season—a dominant big man and a superstar. So they were forced to rely on solid veterans, promising newcomers, adequate role players and scrappiness, which is why I enjoyed watching them so much, and also why they went 20-62.

Yes, I just used “enjoyed” and “20-62” in the same sentence, which is not the way the NBA has trained us to think. In greedy cahoots with television, NBA Inc. has taken what once was a great sport and merchandised it into cash-cow “entertainment,” defined by superstars and championship rings. I wouldn’t mind, if the result on the floor wasn’t so boring.

But it is what it is. We are stuck with Commissioner David Stern’s National Basketball Attraction. If you’re an old-school junkie jonesing for the classic jump shot, the motion offense and bizarre defensive schemes, head to the nearest high school or college gym.
Meanwhile, there are steps the Magic could take to improve the fan experience and keep it as “real” as possible in the palatial TV studio known as

Amway Center:
1) Stop the hokey organ music when the Magic are bringing the ball up the court. DA-duh-da-da-DA-duh-da-da. If I want organ music with my action, I will buy a ticket to The Phantom of the Opera.
2) Stop using flashing giant clapping hands on the digital scoreboard to tell me when to cheer. I’ll decide when, and I don’t need an instructional video. To paraphrase Bob Knight: Most of us learned to clap in kindergarten and moved on.
3) Ditto the order to “Stand and cheer your Orlando Magic!” If you have to ask...it’s just embarrassing.
4) Shoot more T-shirts into the “cheap” seats. We need them up there to stay warm, and anyone who can afford $150 for a ticket can buy their own T-shirt. Note to high rollers: There are no lines in the souvenir shop in the middle of the fourth quarter when you leave.
5) Stop handing out those migraine-inducing paddle noisemakers. They are obnoxiously loud and block my view. Instead, give us a coupon for 25-cent popcorn. (Yeah, like that’s gonna happen.)
6) Dizzy Bat at halftime of every game. Best fan participation stunt ever. Two guys running tight circles around baseball bats with their foreheads on the knobs, then trying to run in a straight line and crashing like drunken sailors—that’s entertainment.

Even if Magic management ignores all my suggestions—a better bet than Dwight missing his next free throw—I’ll be at Amway for a few games this season, up in the Himalayan cheap seats. For the rest, I’ll be camped in front of my TV, following coach Vaughn’s and general manager Rob Hennigan’s intriguing work in progress, on good nights and bad.

Take it from a roundball junkie: The Magic are getting better fast. Catch them now—before they get so good it’s no fun anymore. 


 

Email Greg at
feedback@orlandomagazine.com

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Wedding Resource Guide

Find the best wedding vendors in Orlando.

Summer Getaways 2015

Summer is finally on its way and now is the perfect time to plan your getaway. Check out some of these great deals and special destinations just a short drive from Orlando.

Shattering Myths of Better Business Bureau

2015 Best Lawyers

When you need an attorney, you want someone with a strong reputation and a proven track record. The annual Best Lawyers® list provides the names of Orlando-area attorneys most recommended by their colleagues in the field.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2015

Our annual list featuring 216 of the area’s finest dental professionals.

Dentists Q&As

We selected 4 dentists to weigh in on questions related to dental health.

Guide to Private Schools 2015

Our annual guide to private schools will help you chart an educational course for your family.

2014 Finest Doctors

Two national surveys name the Best and Top Doctors in Orlando, as recommended by their peers.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Weekend Happenings in Orlando May 22 to 24

Find the best events in and around town for the weekend.

Guide to Outlet Mall Shopping

Make the most of your time with these suggestions before hitting the shops in Orlando

Weekend Happenings in Orlando May 15 to 17

Find the best events in and around Orlando for the weekend, including a Friday night live music guide.

3, 2, 1... Liftoff!

Cape Canaveral Fuels Up for a Record Year of Rocket Launches

Weekend Happenings in Orlando May 8 to 10

Find the best events in and around Orlando for the weekend, including a Mother's Day idea guide.
Edit Module