49 Days to Tip Off: Before the Warriors…

Believe it or not, we are less than one month away from the first Magic preseason game. Orlando will open training camp on October 1 and open the preseason in Mexico City against New Orleans on October 7. So how will we get ready? By counting down to the beginning of the season on November 2 against Denver. Let’s continue:

Otis Smith took a lot of heat for bringing in a lot of former Golden State Warriors to the roster. It was where he got his start as an executive. Oh, but the Magic have another front office pipeline. One with a little more meat behind its name. Oh, and that pipeline is gone too with Rob Hennigan and Jacque Vaughn establishing the Spurs/Thunder method.

That former pipeline is the late 1970s Portland Trail Blazers.

Former head coach Johnny Davis was a rookie when the Trail Blazers won the championship in 1977 and played two seasons in Portland. Davis played 79 games and averaged 8.0 points per game off the bench. Davis was the Magic’s head coach after Doc Rivers was fired 10 games into the 2004 season. He made it 64 games into Dwight Howard‘s rookie year in 2005 before he seemed to lose control over Steve Francis and the team went into a tailspin that cost them a Playoff berth.

Former assistant general manager Dave Twardzik was also a big member of that team. He scored 10.3 points per game in a reserve role too for that championship team. Twardzik worked with Smith under Jon Weisbrod to select Dwight Howard. He did some very good things for Orlando, but was passed over for Smith when Weisbrod resigned.

Of course, that Blazers team was more famous for having Bill Walton win his only NBA championship.

And, ironically, Twardzik was also an executive with the Warriors. On to our next pipeline. :-/

49 Days Left!

54: Horace Grant, it’s got to be the goggles! … 53: Shaq’s 53-point game and the 1994 scoring race … 52: Patriotic … 51: Otis Smith, the Legend … 50: The Actual Tip Off.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily