ORLANDO, Fla. After eight years of being carried on the broad shoulders of Dwight Howard, Monday marked the beginning of a new era for the Orlando Magic.
Coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith were dismissed following the season.
Howard, a perenial All-Star for the Magic, was finally traded to the Lakers in August in a blockbuster multi-team deal after a turbulent 2011-12 campaign with the club.
So the Magic enter the 2012 season with a clean slate from nearly top to bottom.
"Fresh energy" is how new head coach Jacque Vaughn described the atmosphere.
A few times during Monday's Media Day session, players gathered in the hallway had to be politely asked to lower their voices so as to not disturb an interview in progress. Minutes later, the rowdiness would resume. Were all excited, rookie Kyle OQuinn said.
With entirely new management, new coaching staff and 12 new players, the Magic will have their work cut out for them this preseason trying to answer the question...