Lewis hopes for a warm reception in Orlando tonight
When the Orlando Magic was in Washington earlier this month, Rashard Lewis couldn't help but feel nostalgic when he heard his former coach, Stan Van Gundy shouting out plays to Jameer Nelson -- plays that he knew all too well -- or as Van Gundy screamed incessantly at Hedo Turkoglu when he attempted to guard Lewis.
"Just hearing him coach and scream on the sideline put a smile on my face," Lewis said. "Even though he was screaming and yelling, it's something I always remember him doing. Something I kind of miss a little bit."
Lewis won't get a chance to hear Van Gundy yelling too much on the court tonight, since he will sidelined against his former team when the Wizards play their last game before the all-star break at Amway Center. But he is expecting to hear fans respond to his return for the first time since he was traded for Gilbert Arenas on Dec. 18. "Most of all, they've greeted me pretty well since I've been in town, telling me welcome back and how much they miss me," Lewis said. "But you never know when you're in an NBA arena, because I'm pretty sure they'll be pulling for the guys on the home team and not the visiting team. Hopefully, it'll be a warm reception."
Van Gundy said Lewis should get nice ovation for his contributions to the organization, crediting him with being one of the integral pieces to helping the Magic reach new heights. Lewis was flattered by the compliment, but attempted to deflect the credit. "I didn't do it by myself. Dwight [Howard] helped, Jameer [Nelson] helped. It's a number of guys that helped build this organization. I was a big key to that, but at the same time, Stan Van Gundy helped as well. We came in together, his first year coaching, my first year playing here and I felt for the three years we played together, I thought we did a great job of winning out division three years, getting to the Finals, the Eastern Conference finals. It got better every year. We was always competing as one of the top teams."
When asked if there was anything he could have done differently to stay in a Magic uniform, Lewis paused and said, "That part I don't know. You know what they say about the business side of it. Our job is downstairs on the court and we don't know too much about what goes on upstairs in the offices. My job is to come out every day and play, try to win ball games and give it 100 percent. I let them handle the upstairs part."
He said he doesn't feel the need to get vengeance against his former organization for sending him to a lottery-bound team. "No, not all. Just from the fact that I've been in the league 12 years, and I completely understand the business side of it. I've had different teammates every year I've been in the league. I've seen guys get traded every year. It most definitely was a blow. I was most definitely upset. I loved playing here. At the same time, I got to keep on playing basketball and watch it with a positive attitude."
FROM THE POST
More from Lewis and Arenas.
Nick Young can't help himself from talking trash to Gilbert Arenas.
Lewis is out and Young is probable vs. Orlando.
The legendary Bill Russell and 14 others were honored by President Barack Obama with the Medal of Freedom as "the best of who we are and who we aspire to be" (The Early Lead).
Orlando Magic senior vice president and longtime NBA executive Pat Williams has been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer.
AROUND THE WEB
Nick Young is a "black hole" shooting guard who shoots the ball 72.6 percent of the time he touches it, according to Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference.com Blog .
Tom Ziller of SBNation says Nick Young makes Kobe Bryant look like John Stockton.
David Stern discusses contraction, NBA players going to Europe if there is a lockout and several other topics in a podcast with ESPN.com's Bill Simmons.
Charley Rosen says LeBron James is not a perfect basketball player (FanHouse).
Carmelo Anthony reportedly could have been a Knick on Monday if team president Donnie Walsh had been willing to meet Denver's trade demands (New York Daily News).
| February 16, 2011; 8:21 AM ET
Categories: Morning brew
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