By Doug Pearson
Michael Jordan checking into a game. As if they didn't know him.
 Photo by Doug Pearson

Tracy trying to cool off after another hot shooting performance. Photo courtesy of t-mac.com.

The playoff hopes of the Orlando Magic lay squarely on the shoulders of Tracy McGrady. This was to be the year that Grant Hill stepped in and gave the Magic a legitimate chance at an Eastern Conference Championship. Unfortunately Hill suffered a season ending foot injury early in the season. In the early going the Magic struggled to adjust to his loss. It appeared as if Orlando was waiting for him to come back and save the day. When they got the news that he was out for the season the Magic adjusted to playing without Hill. All Orlando fans can do is hope that Hill can make a full recovery and ome back at full strength next season. Inhuries happen and their is nothing you can do about them. Tracy McGrady is clearly one of the top five players in the NBA and is capable of carrying Orlando into the playoffs. McGrady has the money of a superstar, the endorsements and the respect of his peers. One group that doesn't give McGrady the respect that he deserves is the NBA officials. It is a well known fact that the superstars in this league are treated differently by the referees. For one reason or another though the refs don't give McGrady the calls that other stars, even lesser players routinely receive. Tracy McGrady can not even get a favorable whistle on his homecourt. He often goes to the basket and gets mugged with no call. Then at the other end of the floor the opposing team's star gets the star treatment in McGrady's house. A prime example of this occured during Sunday's game when the Raptors. Vince Carter received a couple of favorable calls in Orlando. McGrady is widely viewed as the better of the two players yet for some reason he can not get the calls. What makes this even more difficult to understand is McGrady's demeanor. He does not berate the officials or try to show them up like other players often do. One would think that would put McGrady in good standing with the refs. Perhaps it is because they don't think he's a big enough star to get the calls yet. All they need to do is ask the other All-Stars. He made some of the best players in the world look like guys from the local Y.M.C.A. when he threw the ball off of the backboard to himself and finished with a thunderous dunk.

DeVos Keeping the Magic Recently Orlando Magic owner Rich Devos decided to take the team off of the market. He received around 20 offers to purchase the Magic.When he saw all of the interest he felt compelled to keep the Magic. He cited a desire to keep the team in Orlando. Some of the prospective buyers would have moved the franchise. He also wanted to continue the many charitable activities that the organization is such a big part of. The DeVos family does support a lot of charitable organazations there is no denying that. The precursor to attempting to sell the Magic seemed to be the reluctance of the taxpayers to finance a new arena. The ownership wants a new arena to keep up with the current norms in the league. They want an arena with more luxury boxes and with those boxes closer to the court.This issue will no doubt resurface in the next couple of years. It is my opinion that the current arena is fine but if they want a new arena they can build it. I don't feel that the taxpayers should pay for an arena so a billionaire can make more money. I think that the taxpayer's money should be used to better their community by building or improving schools, roads, etc. I feel it is a joke when any owners of these professional sports teams cries broke. They charge for parking, exorbitant amounts for concessions and souveneirs. Even if the arena isn't seeling out all of the time they are still making money. The ticket prices are constantly going up and the real fans are the ones that suffer. The fans that can afford the tickets are mostly rich yuppies with only a passing interest in the game. They use the games as a time to entertain clients. So I am glad that Rich DeVos is keeping the team but if he wants an arena he can finance it.


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