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TOYS AND GAMES: Silly Me, I Should Have Recognized a Dragon

While attending the Magic-Clippers game in Orlando Friday night, I learned that “Stuff the Magic Dragon” is the Magic’s mascot. Though clever, I wondered how many people in the stands understood why.

Stuff scooted down the aisle and stopped to mug for a selfie with the guy sitting in front of us. We’d been talking to this guy during the early part of the game. While overzealous, he seemed to know basketball and he loved the Magic. But when I asked him if he and Stuff were friends, his eyes glazed: “I’m a human being. He’s a dragon.”

I think he believed what he said.

Seen at the concession stand: A dude who purchased a 20-ounce Bud Light to go along with a large chocolate ice cream. I had to admire the way he worked on each simultaneously.

Based on what I’d heard about “Hack-a-Shaq” — the basketball strategy of continuously committing fouls against an opponent because he can’t shoot free throws, I expected to see the Magic let loose with a “Hack-a-Shaq” attack against DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers center shoots free throws like the recess reject who is now the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Never happened Friday night.

Once the 6-minute mark hit and the Magic trailed by a bunch, the need to foul no longer existed. Meanwhile the stands emptied like quitting time at Bedrock.

I do wonder why the NBA doesn’t eliminate “Hack-a-Shaq” tactics by simply giving the team that gets fouled the option of bringing in the ball or shooting free throws. Sounds simple to me. Am I missing something?

bchastain19@gmail.com

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©2020 by Bill Chastain. Photo credits: Jill Doty Photography