Everybody enjoys a night on the town, but for fans of the Orlando Magic, they must have been quite upset to hear that their team enjoyed a full night of partying before their game with the New York Knicks—a game they lost 108-86.
According to NYPost.com's Page Six, the Magic players went out the night before their game to have a night on the town in New York, but the party didn't end until the next day rolled around.
The previous night, sources spotted the Magic’s Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Jason Richardson partying until the early hours. They started out dining in the private wine room of Philippe New York. Then the pair joined Dwight Howard — who got a shout-out from the DJ on the loudspeaker, spies said — Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson at Greenhouse during R&B singer Dawn Richard’s EP release party. The players were seen ordering bottles of Champagne and raged in the club until around 3 a.m. The next day, sources told us, they looked “horrible” during their pregame shoot-around, missing most of their practice shots. They later looked slow-footed during the game. Celebs who took in the Knicks’ victory included Kate Upton, Jeremy Piven, Aziz Ansari, Vincent Piazza, and New York Giants Justin Tuck and Victor Cruz. A Magic rep didn’t return calls.
It is no secret that this NBA season is much shorter, with not a whole lot of down time between games. The Magic had a free night before their matchup with the Knicks, and while they probably deserved a fun night, they definitely bit off more than they could chew.
There are just 15 games left in the regular season, but the team cannot risk losing control like this while they are actual contenders in the East. All the eyes right now are on the Bulls and Heat, but there is no reason the Magic can't shock the world and get past either one of them.
Fact of the matter is this may have just been a one-time incident, but it shows a true lack of leadership. Guys like Howard need to be stepping up in these instances, let alone not being the guy out on the town at around 3 a.m.
Against the Knicks, one could argue Howard had a pretty bad game as well. He only took seven shots as he scored 12 points and grabbed six boards in 28 minutes.
The blame isn't entirely all on him, as everyone involved is an adult, but at this point in the season, the face of your franchise needs to show up to make sure instances like that don't occur.