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ORLANDO, Fla. — Moe and Franz Wagner never played on the same team together growing up but that all changed this summer after a couple of moves by the Orlando Magic.
Moe joined the Magic at the tail end of last season, averaging 11 points and 4.9 rebounds in 11 appearances. He re-signed with the Magic on Aug. 23 on a one-year deal and projects to play an integral role this season in the frontcourt.
Of course, Orlando selected Franz with the eighth overall pick in the NBA draft after a stellar season at Michigan. The opportunity to play with his older brother has only helped with the transition to the NBA, something Moe said he is handling well.
He is doing really good, I think. He is a very smart guy. (I’m in) a difficult position because I’m not his dad, I’m one of his teammates. We talk about basketball but we also spend a lot of time off of the floor together. I’m trying to separate the family and professional life a little bit. I think he is doing great.
The chance to play together is a first for the two. Prior to this season, they would only face each other on the court in the park but never on the same team. They are spending plenty of time just trying to figure each other out so far.
Franz gave up the No. 21 to accommodate Moe when he re-signed with the team. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
The situation in Orlando allowed Moe to reflect a bit on all of those times he played Franz growing up. He even hilariously remembered how he would dominate Franz when he was younger.
I used to bust his ass, excuse my language. I bullied him plenty of times when we were little but those times are over, unfortunately. As soon as he hit a certain age, those times were over quick. Of course, we grew up playing together, against each other but organized or professional, I’ve never played with him.
While the two certainly have enjoyed sharing the court together, they also understand basketball shouldn’t dominate every day. They talk about much more than just basketball, and often try not to judge each other’s performances.
As for those performances on the court, Moe is averaging 11.5 points and three rebounds through the first two preseason games while Franz has totaled three points and four rebounds in 40 minutes.
Orlando returns to play on Sunday versus the San Antonio Spurs.