September 24, 2008
Ed. note: On Tuesday afternoon, Big League Stew contributor and BDL summer correspondent Nick Friedell headed over to the Cheyenne Saloon in downtown Orlando to check out the Magic's new jerseys. Here's his report:
The Magic held a 20th anniversary jersey release party yesterday but what they should have done was just hand a microphone to Dwight Howard and let him do a standup routine while Rashard Lewis and company modeled the new threads. As he often does these days, Howard stole the show from the moment he set foot in the Cheyenne Saloon. As he was getting to go onstage, he had the crowd rolling by doing voice impersonations of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson and Shaquille O'Neal among others.
Speaking of Shaq, it was interesting to me that the jerseys the team unveiled looked like a modernized version of the ones that became famous during the Magic's mid 90s glory days. The only noticeable difference is a little bit of black on the sides. I actually wish the team had just gone back to their original pinstripe look, but I guess that would have been too easy.
So who makes the pinstripes look better, Howard or Shaq? "Regular TV or black and white?" Dwight asked me, as a smile started to show up on his face.
"HD," I said.
"I think I might make (pinstripes in) HDTV look better," he said.
No matter how the jerseys look, both Howard and Lewis agreed that they won't help them win either way. "I think they're great jerseys, I think they're better than last year's jerseys," Lewis said. "But the jersey's not gonna make us win ballgames."
I agree with Lewis though, anything would look better than the generic jerseys the team trotted out for the last few years. Now that the Magic have gotten a new/retro look going, I asked the guys if that meant that Stan Van Gundy might actually wear a tie at some point this season.
"I don't think so," Lewis said laughing. "You know how Van Gundy is, he's stubborn, even when he's coaching us he's stubborn with us, he's gonna do what he wants when he wants."
Howard had another idea, and after an hour of funny lines, he might have saved his best one for last. "I think we're all going to go shopping," he told me. "We'll take (Van Gundy) to the Big and Small."