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In lieu of new Orlando Magic games, local TV station substitutes old ones

October 27, 2011
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As you probably know, negotiations between NBA players and team owners remain at an acrimonious standstill. The Orlando Magic have now lost 15 games, owing to the cancellation of seven regular season games scheduled before Nov. 15, as well as the entirety of the eight-game preseason. I can’t speak for everybody, but I can say for certain that at least one fan, accustomed to the arrival of pro basketball with the cooler air, is starting to get antsy. True, Orlando Magic rookie Justin Harper is playing in France, but the station that televises his games—he plays for a team called Strasbourg Illkirch Graffenstaden—is not something I’ve found easily on Google. And don’t get me started on the annoyances inherent in trying to get Turkish television.

What, then, is a pro basketball fan to do? Watch old games? That’s the quasi-solution recently presented by the local TV network Sun Sports, with a lineup of classic Magic games that may grow longer if new Magic games continue to be aborted. I apologize for posting this notice two days late–yesterday, the Magic’s first-ever game in 1989, against the Pistons, was televised–but here’s what Sun Sports’ schedule looks like from today on out. (Keep in mind, this year’s NBA season was originally scheduled to begin on Nov. 1.)

Magic vs. Chicago Bulls: December 20, 1989 (Smith buzzer-beater tops Jordan’s 52)

PREMIERE: Wednesday, November 2 – 9 p.m. (RE-AIR: Saturday, November 5 – 10:30 p.m.)

Magic vs. Boston Celtics: May 5, 1995 (Magic win First Round; Close Boston Garden)

PREMIERE: Wednesday, November 9 – 6 p.m. (RE-AIR: Thursday, November 10 – 9:30 p.m.)

As for who’s to blame for the continued standoff, it’s difficult to tell—the actual numbers are disputed and/or unknown; when they are known, their significance is debated as well—and quite honestly, there are more important things to spend time on as a reporter than determining which obscenely wealthy group of individuals deserves more money than the other. (It is, however, a tempting reaction to blame the players, a position which I have taken before and regret only slightly.)

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