JameerNelsonMediaDay100112

Jameer Nelson is one of a kind

During Media Day, Jameer Nelson's future was far from settled.

He was entering the final guaranteed year of a three-year deal and was a veteran on a young team. He was the final link between the old era of Magic basketball and this burgeoning new one.

Nelson would not talk much about the past that day in October. Nor would he talk much about his future beyond the immediate or even his legacy with the Magic. Nelson, the consummate professional the organization has valued for much of the past decade, has kept his focus on the here and now.

Unfortunately, the here and now is now the trade deadline and the very real decision the Magic have to make about Nelson and his future.

Very quietly, Wednesday's 86-81 loss to the Grizzlies might very well have been Nelson's last game in a Magic uniform at Amway Center.

Of course, that is not the way Nelson wants it. He has spent all 10 of his seasons in the NBA. He has laid down deep roots in the City Beautiful, including raising his children and building a family in Orlando. Nelson is not someone that wants to go anywhere else.

And those that have seen him grow most during this past decade sense a special bond for Nelson with Orlando. Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report spoke to Nelson's business manager, Steve Mountain:

Sports used to be the players chose to stay in a city. They wanted to be there, they wanted to be a part of the community, they wanted their kids to grow up there and go to school there. They didn't go home for the summer. Jameer's old-school like that. He believes that he's an Orlando guy.

Zwerling also spoke to Stan Van Gundy, who explained his biggest regret in playing Nelson in the 2009 NBA Finals. But Van Gundy explains, while that was a regret in hindsight, the move made all the more sense to him because of how much trust he had built in Nelson over the years. It was a trust that continued until Van Gundy was no longer head coach.

There is some deep affection within the organization for Nelson (thus the three-year, $24 million deal he got) and Nelson likely reciprocates that with an affection for the organization.

This is not the first time Nelson has been brought up in trade rumors, of course.

Nelson was long bandied about when the Magic were searching for a second superstar to pair with Dwight Howard. He was at one point mentioned in trade rumors involving Chris Paul that eventually fell through. Otis Smith went to bat for his point guard time and again and criticized Howard for "throwing [Nelson] under the bus" in specifically mentioning other point guards around the league that he would like to play with.

No one was under the belief that Nelson was better than Paul or Deron Williams, but Nelson was more than serviceable and often served the brunt of criticism during those championship years.

That time is gone. Those criticism are gone. Jameer Nelson is not.

And if things go the way Nelson wants this Thursday, he will not be going anwyhwere and he will get to stay in Orlando for a little while longer.

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

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