Aaron Gordon is back in the studio releasing a new track called “Level Up.” A track that should be predictive as much as it is celebratory.
Life is not all about basketball. Especially in the offseason.
Yes, there is a lot of basketball work that takes place during the offseason. But there are still 24 hours in a day and outside pursuits for players to pursue. We saw some of that during the hiatus.
Again, what are a bunch of 20-somethings supposed to do when the gym is closed?
Gordon celebrated his 25th birthday earlier this week and was back at it releasing his latest track with a promise that Orlando Magic fans certainly hope is a preview for the upcoming season.
Gordon’s latest, “LVL UP,” was released earlier this week. Please note that some of the language may be offensive to some.
Gordon along with Orlando rapper Moe sing more about how their lives have upgraded and they have proven their doubters wrong. It is an ostentatious song with the duo going from a high-end hotel to a shuttle bus to a private jet.
They are definitely bragging a bit about their success, saying they have worked hard to “level up” their lives and are letting their doubters know it.
Or maybe that is me reading too much into it and this is a simple rap romp about living a grand lifestyle. I’m no rap or music expert. So enjoy the video.
For sure, the term “level up” can be interpreted a number of different ways. It is certainly in this video and song about leveling up a lifestyle and showing off success.
But for the Magic and for Gordon, it also needs to become a prediction for his play.
Gordon had an undoubtedly rough season for the Magic last year. His scoring average dropped to 14.4 points per game and he shot a 48.4-percent effective field goal percentage. His 3-point shooting dropped to 30.8 percent.
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Injuries had at least something to do with all of this. He suffered a jaw injury early in the preseason and then sprained his ankle in mid-November. He came back after six games, but admitted in January that he was still feeling some discomfort in his leg.
Gordon picked up his play after the All-Star Break, recording his first career triple-double and jumping his assists and playmaking up. He became the dynamic weapon that was vital to the Magic’s 2019 playoff run.
He was playing well when the season resumed in the bubble, only to have it cut short when he got hit going up for a dunk and strained his hamstring on the landing. Despite his diligent efforts to try to come back, coach Steve Clifford said Aaron Gordon simply was not able to play at a NBA level as he tried to come back.
With a lot of time between now and the beginning of the 2021 season, Gordon will have the time to heal up completely and get back to work leveling up his skills.
It will still be an offseason of uncertainty. The Magic are expected to be active in the trade market as they try to improve their team. Gordon, at 25 years old and on a contract that is declining in its final two years, will be a valuable trade chip.
A season where he regressed some — because of injuries or otherwise — certainly has put his future with the franchise in some question. There are still questions as to whether he ultimately fits with Jonathan Isaac — although those fit questions will wait until the 2022 season.
Gordon still can turn the corner. He is certainly young enough.
But if he stays with the Magic, the team will need him to “level up” to make the playoffs again and secure his place with the franchise moving forward.
In this sense, Gordon’s song needs to become a mission statement as much as a celebration of a comfortable life.