Believe it or not, we are about a month away from Opening Night. Orlando opened training camp on October 1 and have opened the preseason. So how will we get ready? By counting down to the beginning of the season on November 2 against Denver. Let's continue:
The Magic have an interesting contingent of former players that plan on plying their trade in China this year.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! reported that Gilbert Arenas is close to signing a deal in China. He will join Von Wafer and Tracy McGrady in playing overseas in the suddenly expanding and suddenly popular Chinese Basketball Association.
McGrady's trip to play in China seems a bit premature. McGrady after all is only 33 years old despite 15 years in the NBA. Knee injuries and multiple surgeries have taken away much of his explosiveness. But for four years in Orlando, McGrady was one of the best players in the NBA, the league's top scorer and an unstoppable force.
Before he left for China (or at least before his season got underway), McGrady talked with Dante Marchitelli on Magic Drive Time in a very frank discussion about his time in Orlando.
McGrady said in the interview several times that his four years in Orlando were the best years of his career and that he never wanted to leave. While he expressed appreciation for his teammates in his years in Orlando, he lamented not having another star playing alongside him and is left to think "What if" when it comes to Grant Hill.
He comes across much different than he did at the time of his exit when there was clearly a disconnect between him and Jon Weisbrod (whom he implicates in his departure without ever mentioning his name).
Here is wishing McGrady a lot of luck in China. It would be nice to see McGrady back home sometime soon and certainly in the NBA in March or next year. As time has gone by, those McGrady years are looking more and more special for what McGrady did as an individual in carrying that team to a playoff berth in three straight years.
Here is video proof of his astoudning time in Orlando: