Found February 14, 2013 on Fox Sports Florida:
ORLANDO, Fla. It wasnt as if Nikola Vucevic began this season, his first as a member of the Orlando Magic, with the specific goal of being good enough to earn a spot in the NBA's Rising Stars Challenge. Establishing the sort of consistency he was unable to do as a rookie with the Philadelphia 76ers would have been a sufficient reward. Fifty-two games and a whole bunch of double-doubles later, the 22-year-old center has emerged as the Magics one true constant. So it came as no surprise when Vucevic was named to be one of the participants in Friday nights game in Houston involving the top first-year and second-year players in the NBA. Vucevic will be joined at the All-Star weekend event by Magic first-round draft pick Andrew Nicholson, who was chosen as a replacement for the injured Andre Drummond. In a quirk that isnt lost on either player, Vucevic and Nicholson will be on opposite teams. In perhaps the sweetest development of all, the player who went largely unrecognized in the four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard from the Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers is challenging Howard for the league lead in rebounds and, according to several advanced statistical categories, is enjoying a better season than the player who was the face of the franchise from 2004 through his long and drawn-out departure in August. I knew he could shoot the basketball. So thats what I knew about him going forward, said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, who followed Vucevics college career at USC and his brief stint with the 76ers. But his ability to get rebounds and provide a touch around the rim with both hands has been extremely impressive to me. That ability was best illustrated Dec. 31 against the Miami Heat, when Vucevic accomplished something not even Howard or Shaquille ONeal were able to do during their years with the Magic by pulling down 29 rebounds. Although he pretty much had nowhere to go but down after that performance, the drop was anything but precipitous. Before being held out in the fourth quarter Wednesday night of a lopsided loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Vucevic had gone 30 games in a row with at least nine rebounds, the longest such streak by anyone this season. His averages of 12.4 points and 11.5 rebounds are more than double what he posted in 51 games in Philadelphia last season and should earn him consideration in the months ahead for Most Improved Player honors. Rebounding is something I can do pretty well because of my size and (because) I have a good feel for the game, he said. I have a feeling where the ball is going to bounce off and just follow it. Said Vaughn: He has great anticipation, great instincts to know where the ball is. And I think hell even be better once he gets more physical. Hell be able to get some of those rebounds where hes just stronger and bigger than the other guy. As a 7-footer with a wingspan of 7-5, Vucevic possesses a natural advantage when it comes to grabbing missed shots. But on Friday night, he need look no further than the man who will coach his squad Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley for proof that rebounding isnt simply a matter of being tall. Despite being an undersized power forward, Barkley led the NBA in offensive rebounds for three consecutive seasons. So while other young players might think of him more from his in-studio wisecracking with ONeal, Vucevic is taking his meeting with Barkley seriously. I havent met him before, he said. But he knows the game and he played for a long time, so I can probably learn a lot from him. Vucevic already has someone providing him an example of basketball longevity. His father, Borislav, played professionally for 24 years and was a member of the Yugoslavian national team that included the legendary Drazen Petrovic. When word got out back home in Montenegro about his sons selection, Vucevics father wasted little time getting on the phone. Hes very happy for me for all the work I put in, said Vucevic, who was born in Switzerland and raised in Belgium when his fathers career took him there. He knows how much work I put in and how much effort and all the time I spent. Their relationship is as much coach-player as it is father-son. Vucevic thought he was doing his dad a favor by purchasing NBA League Pass for him but now admits with a laugh that it wasnt very smart because now he can watch all my games and critique me. That sort of tough love has come in handy during the Magic's tough season. Hes really like my personal coach, my best coach, Vucevic said. Hes always honest with me. He tells me the way it is. If it wasnt for him, I wouldnt be here today. And before too long, the two of them will get the chance to talk face-to-face again. Hell come here sometime, probably in March, Vucevic said. Hes not a huge traveler.

Turkoglu suspended 20 games by NBA

The Magic small forward has been suspended 20 games by the NBA for testing positive for the banned substance methenolone.

Hedo Turkoglu receives 20 game ban for violating anti-drug policy

Orlando Magic veteran, Hedo Turkoglu has received a 20-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. Turkoglu, a 12-year player out of Turkey, tested positive for methenolone, according to a league report. Turkoglu released a statement: “I take full responsibility for anything that goes into my body. This was a complete error in judgment on my part, and I apologize...

Magic’s Hedo Turkoglu suspended 20 games for steroid use

Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu received a 20-game suspension after testing positive for methenolone, an anabolic steroid. Turkoglu claims the steroids were taken in error this summer while in Turkey. He received the medication from a trainer while dealing with a shoulder injury but neglected to check the ingredients to ensure it didn’t contain anything on the NBA’s...

A video history of the Magic at All-Star Weekend

The NBA has hit its All-Star Weekend! Hard to believe that the game was in Orlando just a short year ago. The Magic have only two representatives in this year's festivities -- Nikola Vucevic and Andrew Nicholson will participate in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday -- and we will be watching them closely Friday night in that game. The two have already touched down...

NBA suspends the Orlando Magic’s Hedo Turkoglu for positive steroid test.

What sport is PED free?

Hedo Turkoglu suspended 20 games for violating NBA's Anti-Drug Program

The NBA has suspended Hedo Turkoglu for 20 games for violating the terms of the NBA and NBPA's Anti-Drug Program. The NBA reports Turkoglu tested positive for methenolone, an anabolic steroid. He will begin serving his suspension tonight in Orlando's game against Atlanta and will not be eligible to play again until March 27 when Orlando travels to Charlotte. There will...

Magic take early vacation in home loss to Hawks

There are plenty of excuses for the Magic coming out and laying an egg Wednesday night against the Hawks. Could it have been looking forward to a few days off with the All-Star Break coming up this weekend? Could it have been the surprise announcement just a few hours before tip off that Hedo Turkoglu would be suspended for the next 20 games for testing positive for an anabolic...

Turkoglu Blames Ignorance For Steroid Use; Suspended For 20 Games

How refreshing would it be, if an NBA player actually told the unvarnished truth of what took place, when they have to apologize after they have messed up on or off the hardwood? Wouldn’t you have far more respect for a player, if they said what actually took place; rather than provide the media and the fans, an account that comes with an implied wink and a nod? The “Orlando...

J.J. Redick Wanted 3-Point Contest Invite, Unsure Of Criteria

Another knock-down shooter, Kyle Korver, also is not clear about the NBA's premise on picking players for the three-point shootout.
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