One thing I will give the Orlando Sentinel credit for is their very useful archive of all past articles. This won't be an every day thing, but it's always fun for Magic fans to turn back the clock and have a view of the past. The good, bad, and definitely ugly.
If you don't know why Tim Povtak is regarded as the best sportswriter to come through the Orlando Sentinel, this Phil Jackson piece will help. Man has always known how to make an argument. Before settling on Chuck Daly, there were pipedreams of Phil bailing out on Chicago for the Magic. Some of you can spot the 'crystal ball' moments.
Not the city or team's finest hour. Before Vince McMahon humiliated the Denver Nuggets not that long ago when there was playoff game or WWF/WWE event jostling, he showed zero remorse to Orlando when it came time for Game 2 of Sixers-Magic. Raw was coming to town on Monday, the same time the NBA had planned Game 2. In the end, the league had little power and the game would be played Tuesday.
The franchise had much larger issues though. Pesky Allen Iverson and his Philly team won Game 1 at Amway Arena. Also, fans weren't parking their rear ends into those red seats as attendance was abysmal for the playoffs. L.C. Johnson did a wonderful job ripping into our fairweather fanbase:
Magic guard Penny Hardaway had warned rookie teammate Matt Harpring to bring his earplugs for Game 1. Much to his surprise, the crowd must have choked on those earplugs.
``Yeah, this sort of felt like a regular-season game instead of a playoff game,'' Hardaway said. ``I was telling Matt, `Just wait until you hear how loud the crowd gets.' But then when we came out on the floor, the arena was half empty.
``We need our fans. But for Game 1, the crowd treated this like a regular-season game, and we did, too.''
Magic officials said there are 3,900 tickets remaining for tonight's Game 2. During the 1995 postseason, when the Magic advanced to the Finals, fans who got their hands on just a couple of tickets might be able to sell them (no, gentle officer, I am not advocating scalping) for enough money to secure their children's college educations.
L.C. Johnson was pulling double duty that day as there was also a Darrell "Flash" Armstrong 6th Man of the Year Award dedication. Flash had signed an $18 million contract at the start of the lockout-shortened season and averaged 13.8 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Jerry Greene got the opportunity to dedicate an entire piece to current Magic Public Address Announcer, and one of the best the NBA has ever had, Paul Porter. He had no issue correctly throwing Grant Hill under the bus. Porter also recalls what it was liking during Nick Anderson's famous '95 Finals Game 1 meltdown. God knows how long Paul will keep doing his job, but the franchise better give him one hell of a sendoff.
This wouldn't be a proper time capsule if I didn't include something from our most recent Finals run. This time it was the return of Rafer 'Skip 2 My Lou' Alston from his 1 game suspension for Rick James slapping Eddie House. I see you, Kyle Hightower and Josh Robbins.