When you think Orlando Magic, you immediately think Dwight Howard, the "Superman." You think about Stan Van Gundy’s goofy post or pregame interviews. Palm trees and beautiful weather may even pop up into your mind frame as well.
Never have you ever thought to yourself, “Dwyane Wade looks pretty good in that Orlando Magic jersey. I wonder what he and Dwight Howard will do in tonight’s game.”
Well, that question almost came to fruition after the 2003 draft, where Orlando’s former coach Doc Rivers felt he truly had a shot at grabbing fellow Marquette man, Dwyane Wade, as stated by the Celtics’ coach to Mike Lupica on ESPN New York.
"Obviously he went to Marquette. I watched him practice. I will tell you a quick story. Dwyane came in to work out with us when I was coaching the Magic and he really shouldn't have. I think we were the 15th pick or the 14th pick. He had no business coming. He just came because of the Marquette connection.
"We had a workout. We had Keith Bogans (notes) and a couple of other guys. He dominated that workout more than I have seen any player dominate a workout to a point where we were scrambling trying to make a trade to get him in the draft and move up. We felt a lot of people didn't know it. We had a deal with the Miami Heat if their guy didn't come up the pick was ours. Well when the pick came to Miami … and Dwyane Wade we thought that we had him because we didn't know that Miami liked him and then they called us right before they were about to pick and they said 'We're sorry. We have our guy.' And they picked Dwyane Wade."
So, the question arrives, what would Orlando’s future have looked like if Dwyane Wade was with the Orlando Magic, instead of Miami Heat? Even though I think Pat Riley was and is too grand of a businessman and basketball connoisseur to pass him up, it would be cool to take a few trips down “what if” memory lane.
The NBA could be completely retooled. Doc Rivers may have still been Orlando Magic’s coach instead of the sometimes narcissistic Stan Van Gundy. Dwight Howard may never have been drafted by the franchise. LeBron James may have never decided to take his talents to South Beach.
None of this really matters because all has been said and done. It is just sometimes a pleasure to take a step away from what is to peek at what could have been.
Good job Riley.