Unusual National Television Schedule

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

While the Orlando Magic technically have quite a few national TV games slated for the coming season, all but three of them are to be broadcast on NBA TV. Only one matchup each against Houston, Miami, and Detroit gets either ESPN or TNT coverage.

The Houston matchup on January 20 is the first meeting of Tracy McGrady's and Steve Francis's old and new clubs, and the only home game. It will be shown on TNT. The other game, at Houston, will be played just four days later, and will be televised by NBA TV.

The Miami matchup on February 27 is the first Orlando home game against the big fella, though it will already be the third matchup between the two clubs. This game will be shown on ESPN.

The final nationally non-NBATV televised game is the April 8 home game against the Detroit Pistons.


This is neither the first nor the last matchup between the two teams. It is not the first home game. While there are certainly some interesting franchise storylines (former Magic players such as Ben Wallace, Orlando's near-upset over the Pistons in the playoffs two years ago), the roster has been so completely revamped that there is no real personal drama.

Probably the networks needed some game that week and just decided to go with that one on a whim. If I was a betting man, I'd say it would get rescheduled to some other matchup.

The Magic have released the complete 2004-2005 regular season schedule.

The Contra Costa Times notes: Drew Gooden, former Orlando Magic (now Cleveland Cavaliers) player and former El Cerrito High School All-American, will be holding a camp for boys and girls ages 7-14 Aug. 9-13 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Albany High School. Campers will receive T-shirt, customized ball and picture with Gooden. Proceeds benefit Scholar Athletes, Inc. 510-223-5518, drewgoodencamp@yahoo.com or www.drewgooden.net.

Tim Povtak ofThe Orlando Sentinel notes: [Shaquille] O'Neal, who is spending much of his summer in Central Florida, will put on the boxing gloves and climb into the ring against Antonio Tarver, the light heavyweight world champion, at Universal Studios on Aug. 6. It's the main event in a charity fund-raiser titled: Shaq's Mama Said Knock You Out. It benefits the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund, which provides a scholarship fund for individuals seeking careers in nursing. Tickets for the event are $125. For more information, call 813-286-8300.


Local6 News reports: An unidentified Orlando woman is expected to testify at the Kobe Bryant trial, Local 6 News reported Wednesday. According to Sports Illustrated, a 22-year-old woman claims Bryant groped her at a private party at Shaquille O'Neal's Isleworth home.The woman was working at the party -- which happened after the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers played the Orlando Magic on Thanksgiving Day of 2002. She claims Bryant asked her to come outside -- then groped her private parts in front of another man, according to the report. Prosecutors say her testimony will prove Bryant has a pattern of aggressive sexual actions. O'Neal has been told by prosecutors he could become a witness in the case, according to a report.

Jeff D'Alessio ofFlorida Todaywrites: Tuesday's 95-78 blowout - the worst loss ever for an American team with NBA players in international competition - was cheered in Belgrade when the PA announcer interrupted the game between Serbia & Montenegro and Lithuania with the breaking news, and sent shock waves that washed ashore in America. "Very surprising," said Pat Williams, the Orlando Magic's executive vice president."But keep in mind, this is a very young USA team (average age: 23) and they haven't been together very long. No question, the world is improving in basketball very quickly, and that will continue in the years ahead. Needless to say, the Olympics will be interesting to follow."

James Jones ofThe Mississippi Sun-Heraldwrites: The New Orleans Hornets are expected to play another NBA preseason game in South Mississippi this fall, and it would be the second time they've come to the Coast in three years.According to sources, the Hornets and the Mississippi Coast Coliseum are in negotiations for an exhibition game, possibly against the Orlando Magic, to be played Oct. 21.Coliseum director Bill Holmes and Hornets officials acknowledged that a date has been reserved for a possible game. They declined further comment. The NBA officially releases its entire preseason schedule for all 30 teams today.