Aaron Gordon taking ownership of Orlando Magic, going to bat for his guys

Many pegged Aaron Gordon as the Orlando Magic's next star. He might still be. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Many pegged Aaron Gordon as the Orlando Magic's next star. He might still be. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Aaron Gordon seems to have settled down since the end of the season. He is all in on his Orlando Magic and is making sure the NBA world knows it.

The first few weeks of the offseason can be a bit boring. Players typically take a few weeks off from basketball to reset their bodies and minds before the offseason. Everyone in the basketball world is watching the playoffs (if they can stomach watching others play while they sit at home).

The Orlando Magic’s players will get back to work on their own time.

Mohamed Bamba spent his 21st birthday at the Amway Center — and the “Swole Bamba” photo is making its way around Twitter. By all indications, Markelle Fultz continues to progress in his rehab, although the team still will not put a timetable or set benchmarks for his return. And Jonathan Isaac is probably still recovering from having his wisdom teeth taken out.

Everyone is getting their work in at their own pace and enjoying the early parts of their offseason.

And it all can be a bit . . . boring. There is not much going on. The offseason for the entire league has not quite started yet and the 2020 season is still so far away.

All everyone who is not playing can do is sit and watch.

And that has Aaron Gordon a bit riled up. He was off doing his own thing a bit, spending some time back home in California before heading to Atlanta to be part of The Starters and the NBA Twitter Show during the second half of Tuesday’s Eastern Conference Finals Game 4.

Before that, he was going to bat to represent his team and demand the Magic get the respect they deserve.

First was some playful Instagram retort.

As SportsCenter noted last week, the Golden State Warriors have won 29 of their last 30 games that Stephen Curry played and Kevin Durant did not (it is now 30 of their last 31).

Click on the link above and you will not one of the top comments belongs to Aaron Gordon. The one loss in that stretch was Golden State’s February loss in Orlando. The one where the Magic outscored the Warriors 33-15 in the fourth quarter. Gordon had 22 points and 15 rebounds, including a big 3-pointer late that iced the game for Orlando.

The Magic are in some elite company. But it still feels like everyone needs a reminder.

Especially after the award finalists were released.

Both Terrence Ross and Steve Clifford were snubbed from the finalist’s lists for the Sixth Man of the Year and Coach of the Year Awards. It is safe to assume they got votes from the media voting and will be just outside the top three. Still, it was startling to see both not get some recognition.

And that did not sit well with Gordon. He went to Twitter to voice his displeasure:

Gordon explained it a little bit more when he joined The Starters on NBATV on Tuesday. He explained that Clifford led the Magic to the biggest turnaround in the league last season. And Terrence Ross set a NBA record by making more than 200 3-pointers in a season without starting a single game.

Both are certainly worthy for consideration for the award. Even in a crowded field, both should have been close to being finalists for their work this past season.

Gordon laid those facts down and then the truth of why they are not in the running. It comes down to getting attention. And nobody paid much attention to the Magic because of their recent history of losing.

That has to change now that they have tasted the playoffs and expectations for the team have raised.

You can tell by the interview Gordon is ready to go to bat for his team. He has taken ownership of the team. Signing that four-year deal last summer certainly should have him more invested in the team.

And you can still feel the excitement and giddiness Gordon had about making the playoffs. He wants more of it and the expectations and standard of play, as he calls it, is certainly different.

As the fun part of summer wears off and players start to really get down to work, you can tell already how much this motivates Gordon.

You can also tell how much ownership he wants to take for this team. He is defending them at every turn and eager to help the Magic make a name for themselves.

Gordon had a strong season for the Magic last year, even if his scoring took a bit of a dip. He averaged 16.0 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game and a career-high 3.7 assists per game. He shot a career-best 34.9 percent from beyond the arc and took much more ownership on defense.

Orlando will need him to continue improving and take another step up in his game next year to repeat their playoff appearance and make noise in the postseason this time.

Next. Orlando Magic must find their core and believe in them. dark

He seems eager for the challenge.