It’s been a fun couple of nights for us at Orlando Magic U.K.
Happy Hour With Steve Clifford
Firstly on Thursday we were part of the invited audience for a virtual event where our great friend Dante Marchitelli spoke with the Coach himself Steve Clifford. The Coach answered questions from the web audience, including those from ourselves.
The Coach said the stoppage in the NBA could not have come at a time more inopportune time for the team, referencing our play & the schedule we had remaining. He explained how he felt the team had taken steps of progression in the last year-plus to be more relevant & towards were becoming respected as a team that’s difficult to play against. I smiled when Coach said “And this is just the beginning”. He also spoke about how he’s been keeping in touch with the players, checking on their well-being. He also spoke of the efforts the Strength & Conditioning team have made to allow the players to remain fit at home.
Coach Clifford praised Markelle Fultz in response to one of our 3 questions asked. The coach also gave a great insight into the mindset & team ethic of DJ Augustin, praising him for his play last season & his response to being ask to lead the second unit this. He praised Michael Carter-Williams, Aaron Gordon & somewhat surprisingly Melvin Frazier Jr amongst others.
We also asked if he would like to see the Coach’s Challenge retained & if so how he felt it could be improved upon. Steve Clifford said he’s not a fan of the challenge as it stands & would like to see it changed so that a successful challenge meant you retained the challenge for further use. He gave an example of having to use the challenge early in a game that was successful for a bad call to keep JI from getting a 3rd early personal foul; then late in the game had no opportunity to challenge again on a game changing decision.
Over all it was an interesting hour that Dante did a great job hosting.
NBA UK Fans Instagram Live
Secondly, tonight as part of the NBA U.K. Fans weekly Live @ 5 feature we took part in the Instagram Live chat, being joined by Dante, Jeff Turner & Dan Savage. Jeff opened the chat telling stories from his playing career. Dante spoke about some favourite memories of his time with Orlando & Dan gave us an insight into a game day on the road, along with a great story about a trip to Boston. Geraint, Mikey & I also spoke about our fandom from setting up the OMUK, to memorabilia to the once in a lifetime experiences.
What should have been 1 hour long ran to 90 minutes & could easily have gone for longer. I’m not going to elaborate further as I genuinely recommend a watch & a listen. You can at present find it on Instagram but as soon as it is available I will post a link to the NBA UK Fans YouTube video of the chat.
As a final point on that chat we want to thank NBA UK Fans for having us, Rich Barrett for hosting & give a massive shout out to Dan, Dante & Jeff for accepting our invitation & doing us a huge favour & honour. We genuinely appreciate you for giving us your time.
As always, stay safe & be well.