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News » Orlando Magic Notes, Quotes 2009-08-21

Orlando Magic Notes, Quotes 2009-08-21

Orlando Magic Notes, Quotes 2009-08-21
--Dwight Howard didn't forget about basketball this summer, but he didn't make it his top priority, either.

There were too many other things to do.

Howard has vowed to return next season a better player than he was, but he didn't exactly lock himself in the gymnasium to make it happen. The whole world became his workout room.

Howard talked about his busy summer during a break in his youth basketball camp at the University of Central Florida, but he made it clear that his own personal trainers never were far away.

His whirlwind summer has included, or will include, a trip to Vancouver to work with a video game manufacturer; two stays in Los Angeles to act in two different movies; a late-night television show appearance in New York; a basketball camp in Vicksburg, Mississippi; shoe promotional trips to China and across Asia; then an NBA charity stint through Africa.

And he's still trying to convince studio executives this summer to buy a Dwight Howard reality show that will include a cross-country road trip where he stops a dozen times between East and West coasts to mingle with fans.

"This has been one of the best summers of my entire life, just being able to travel, meet a lot of different people, interact with all kinds of kids. I'm having so much fun," Howard said. "Basketball is still first, but while my legs are young, and I've still got my teeth and a pretty smile, this is a good idea."

Howard is coming off his finest season. He led the Magic to the NBA Finals and became only the fifth player in NBA history to lead the league in both rebounding and blocked shots. He also was an All-NBA First Team selection.

"Everywhere I go, one of my trainers is always with me. Every summer, I've added something to my game, and this summer will be the same. The things I've done well, I'll make them better next season," he said. "The things I haven't done so well, I'm working on. Both my trainers have said they've never seen me work as hard as I have since we lost in the Finals."

--C Dwight Howard didn't sound too worried about the Cleveland Cavaliers trading for Shaquille O'Neal this summer. The Cavs lost to the Magic in the Eastern Conference final, and they signed Shaq in hopes of helping them get past Howard and the Magic next season.

"Yes, Cleveland made some moves, but so did we. We got better, a lot better, yet people aren't talking about the Magic," he said. "We're a year older and a year stronger. We got pieces that nobody expected. We know now how to win."

--The Magic's new home, set to open for the 2010-11 season, is going to be a lot nicer than the old one, but the name won't change very much. The Magic announced a new naming-rights agreement with Amway for the new arena that will pay them $40 million over 10 years. Instead of Amway Arena, where the Magic play now, they will call the new home Amway Center.

--By getting power forward Brandon Bass from Dallas and small forward Matt Barnes from Phoenix, the Magic will become a much more physical team this season. Both Bass and Barnes have the muscle and mentality to better protect Howard from the constant hard fouls he got last season around the basket when the Magic had only shooters around him.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I've always loved the way Vince Carter played the game. I've watched him for years." -- C Marcin Gortat.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 21, 2009


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