If Jameer’s Back, Is Dwight Out?

Used to be, when a point guard re-upped to continue setting up the best center in basketball, it was a joyous occasion for both sides. The little man would keep playing with an ideal finisher for his passes, while the big man would stick with a playmaker he’s known, in this case, since they both arrived in the NBA eight years earlier.

Once upon a time, that’s how Jameer Nelson’s reported agreement Thursday to re-sign with the Orlando Magic would have looked too, strengthening his connection with Dwight Howard. But that fairy tale has fluttered away, and Nelson’s return looks more like another sign of Howard’s certain departure. He reportedly will sign a three-year deal, the dollar amount so far undisclosed, after averaging 11.9 points and 5.7 assists in 57 appearances.

The combo of Nelson out front and Howard down low once was vital to the Magic’s ambitions; they got to the 2009 Finals and reached the Eastern Conference finals a year later. But like many of Howard’s relationships in Orlando, his dealings with Nelson appeared to sour from the All-Star center’s self-indulgent embrace of his options and clout via impending free agency.

Howard snubbed his teammates on the court with dubious efforts, offended them off it by distancing his own wonderfulness from the rest of the squad (and ex-coach Stan Van Gundy) and, according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com, nearly came to blows with Nelson at one point:

This [trying to nullify his opt-in for this season] is just the latest in a string of events that have caused many within the Magic organization to grow tired of Howard. Several of Howard’s teammates are hoping for his departure as well. Toward the end of last season, Howard came close to a physical altercation with teammate Jameer Nelson at the Magic’s practice facility. Howard was sidelined with a back injury at the time, but nearly came to blows with Nelson for unknown reasons, according to sources. The two players had to be separated.

At Sunday’s opening bell for NBA free agents, Nelson opted out of the final year of his deal — a five-year contract that paid him $29.7 million through four and, to be fair, owed much to his work with Howard. But if there is rancor between them now or if Howard feels he needs an upgrade at point guard in or away from Orlando, Nelson wouldn’t have been so swiftly re-signed; this seems more like a stab at some continuity for the fan base. Nor would Nelson have agreed to return, if he anticipated only more drama and slights from the big guy.

Who, it must be noted, was conspicuously absent in Nelson’s statement to the Orlando Sentinel about his return:

“Genuinely, I love the city. I love the organization. I’ve learned a lot from the people in the organization. The DeVos family means a lot to myself and my family and it means a lot to me that they always put out a winning product.”

Oranges have died in Florida from frosts less chilly that that verbal freeze-out.


  1. dwynn says:

    Thats the one of the biggest BooBoo that Stan van Gundy did in 2009,If he did stick to Rafer maybe they have a better chance in beating LA that year..Guess who’s on the defensive end when DFish shot the ball in a pull up 3pt shot that take the air out of the magic that year…Wild Guess???/JAMEERRRRR……

  2. Travis says:

    Something about Jameer Nelson messes up team chemistry I don’t like his shot selection! I would have shiped Jameer Nelson a long time ago but like I already said in other posts Orlando management is horrible! If I were Dwight I would have asked for a trade a long time ago!

  3. Fefe (Nets) says:

    Whatever you think of Nelson as a player, one thing for sure is that he’s professional, focused on this work and a good teammate to be around with. He had a very good relationship with Howard when Orlando Magic were competing for the title a couple of years back. The near-altercation doesn’t show that he’s a retard but instead that he is a team-first player, because I’m sure Howard got on the nerves of everyone (I guess that nearly every Magic player wished to throw punches at D12 after the All-Star break and until now).

    Jameer Nelson was an All-Star before, and even if he’s a notch below now, he is still a good point guard. I hope for him that he stays healthy and I wish good luck to the Magic organization.

  4. free agency is nuts..i was just talking about jameer’s value as a free agent last night..ORL is lucky to have him back: http://www.mindofmattman.com/2012/07/nba-free-agent-bargain-buys.html

  5. magicman101 says:

    They should sign Aaron Brooks or Lowry…

  6. Cathy says:

    Stop talking about Dwight. That’s exactly what he wants. Trade him to Lithuania. They have talent in return and they will teach him how to cry!

    I think players should not be allowed to talk about trades publicly. Fine them 250 000 each time they say they want to be traded, or want to go to a specific franchise.

  7. TrisR88 says:

    EXACTLY what my ma and I were saying during the 09 Finals! Rafer Alston should’ve stayed at the starting pg position w/Anthony Carter backing him… But we can also factor in that Pietrus just dissapeared smh…

  8. Morris says:

    Yes he back!!! Without jameer the magic would have to blow up the team and start over again. This really a move to sign back Ryan Anderson. Im glad Mr. Howard is leaving I just hope we don’t trade him to the Nets. Who wants Ex- Mr. Kardashsine and one of the Lopez brother who have underachieve since being in the NBA. We should trade him to either portland, detroit, phoenix, or some where will we wil get starters and not bench players or projects. He should have no say so in where he goes he lost that when he showed no professionalism about being trade. He is the biggest overgrown baby I ever seen even Shaq had balls to say he was leaving and gave a reason.

    • Morris says:

      P.S. He an All-Star too. Name another all-star on your team! No one is beside him, not hedo, either richardson, hughes, or any one else on the team.

    • Bball247 says:

      You don’t know what you’re talking about, jameer is not the best pg you guys can get. As for lopez being an under acheiver, he’s only had ONE low scoring season and that was his ROOKIE year. He’s young and only has 4yrs experience and averaged 20pts, 2blks, 8reb, and 2ast a game ever SiNCE. You, are C-L-U-E-L-E-S-S

    • Bball247 says:

      You’re being just like the stupid prideful magic too. It would be different if he was just trying to control the situation, but the NETS see how much he wants to come and are unloading the best deal out there for you guys. I GUARANTEE that it will bite you in the a$$ if you don’t trade him there, because of 2 things. #1 Nets will just give the deal to someone else and THEY’LL reap the benefits and have a team with the 3 people they want to give up and even get draft picks? Wow, because honestly who’s going to take a chance on keeping howard anyways? #2 He has this year, and can leave the team just to be with the nets next year. So I’m pretty sure that anyone you guys give him to won’t be as retarded. Everyone knows he’s not going to sign an extension with anyone else. His mind is set, regardless of what you do howard will be a net. Mark my words, and remember this post. No team other than the nets should even take a chance on this train wreck, because he’s not staying. I think you’re just scared like the rest of us of the force they will become, and him actually being where he wants to be. But if THAT’S the best deal, and everything else is mediocre(because lakers pulled out ‘smartest move I’ve seen so far by picking up nash while kobe is STILL kobe’). You ever hear the saying, “Don’t mix business with pleasure”? They can just be honest when the trade goes down and just say “We didn’t give him to the nets to satisfy HIS needs, but needs of our own accord”.

  9. Orlando native says:

    jameer is just not consistent if he were consistent and bloom into an second option the magic could be a contender against miami

  10. timberwolves says:

    if he stayed out that year, magic may have had a better chance against the lakers with skip-to-my-lou running point full time.

  11. you are exactly right but i dont think there was anything the magic could of done against the lakers to help them when nelson was injured rafer alston step up big and did his thing nelson has his days i dont think they should get rid of him his good but the magic could find better should find better

  12. chris says:

    In some parallel universe / alternate reality there is a championship Magic team that didn’t put Jameer in vs the Lakers in 2009. Jameer needs to go.