ORLANDO – At Orlando Magic media day this week, the latest version of team blue has come out with the following message: “It’s time to establish who we are.”
The team went through he usual media day rounds of one on one and group interviews with the media, posing for pictures that will show during the games line up announcements, plus the team’s team picture.
Fifth year forward Aaron Gordon seemed to set the tone. “We’re going to be tough every single game,” Gordon responded. “We’re going to bring it every single game. There will be no nights off. We’re going to give no team no passes. When they see that they have Orlando on the schedule, they know they’re going to have a fight.”
Gordon’s words echo the vision new coach Steve Clifford has for the Magic. Simply put, Clifford wants Orlando to be a team its opponents dread playing.
With no major superstars on the roster, the team has no choice but to go with the tough, blue-collar work ethic image that Clifford represents.
With the departure of Dwight Howard in 2012, the Magic have been all over the place. Different coaches, different styles, attempts at quick fixes with Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka, and many more changes have made the team a mishmash of a team with no direction and basically a forgotten entity.
Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic and Gordon have have played for four head coaches during their Magic tenures: Jacque Vaughn, interim coach James Borrego, Scott Skiles and Frank Vogel.
As we begin the Steve Clifford era, fans hope so see at least some type of direction.
“We’ll open up with Miami 23 days from now,” Clifford said. “We’ll have 15 practices, five exhibitions, five shoot-arounds, and that’s enough time to start to make steps and get everybody on the proverbial same page. So that’s what we’ll try to do.”
So the Magic have opened with an emerging star in Aaron Gordon, second year forward Jonathan Issiacs, and newly drafted Mo Bama.
It’s all smiles and laughs now, hopefully the team can award fans with some direction and hope this season. We’ll see.