|04-13-2008, 09:55 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2004
Do you believe in Magic?: The Winston Middlebrook Memoirs (1976 On - DDS:PB)
There were eleven of us.
Almost overnight, the NBA decided to get the bright idea to expand the league by 11 teams all in one go. Charlotte, Dallas, Golden State, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, New Orleans, Orlando, Toronto and Utah all suddenly had franchises.
Franchises and no players.
So one night, me and the rest of the rookie GM gang, Glenn Jackson from Charlotte, David Kendrick from Dallas, Jerry Sloan from Golden State, Luca De Ghelderode from Memphis, Sam Fox from Miami, Kenny Sanders from Minnesota, Greg Dickens from New Orleans, Mackel Morton from Toronto, and Gabe Hathaway from Utah all met at a Denny's in St. Pete, sat around a big table and figured out what the hell we were going to do.
I was the young kid of the bunch at 34 and Kenny was the next youngest at 43, so we just sat and let the old men talk most of the night. They'd been around the NBA practically since it started and Gabe in particular was brilliant at building a roster. We figured he'd have the quickest success out of all of us.
Mostly what they did was swap stories of their time in the league and in the semi-pros. Me, I didn't know what to think. I didn't know a damned thing about the job or about basketball and only got the gig I did because Dick Amstar, the owner, was a friend of the family and he was looking to go cheap on his first staff.
So anyway, what everybody decided on is that we all go out and hit the free agent market on our own to try and fill our franchises.
I knew I was in big trouble here, so I just called up Brian Hill, our 58 year old head coach and his staff who were already in place before I got hired and told them I needed their help.
So we get up bright and early the very next day and go out to sign the inaugural Orlando Magic players. We needed 12 minimum, but could go as high as 15. Since I knew Dick wanted to save money, I went with the minimum 12.
The Original Orlando Magic Team
PG Rick Barry - 33 (11 years)
PG Gus Williams - 24 (1 year)
SG Pete Maravich - 30 (6 years)
SG Geoff Petrie - 29 (6 years)
SG Johnny Neumann - 26 (3 years)
SF Jim O'Brien - 26 (3 years)
SF Don Nelson - 37 (14 years)
PF Ron Behagen - 27 (3 years)
PF Tom Riker - 28 (4 years)
C Bob McAdoo - 26 (4 years)
C Moses Malone - 22 (2 years)
C George Johnson - 29 (6 years)
Basically, I had Barry and Nelson there to provide the veteran leadership and McAdoo and Malone as the foundation to build the franchise around. Malone in particular looked like somebody I thought could be really special.
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
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