ESPN: Dwight Howard has his bags packed.
Showing off an it’s-not-over-yet smile and a confident attitude, the Orlando Magic center said Saturday that the NBA finals will be headed back to Los Angeles. The Magic are down 3-1 to the Lakers but want to “make history,” starting with Game 5 on Sunday in their final home game of the best season in franchise history.
“You want me to get up here and say the season is going to be over tomorrow? That’s not what anybody should do or anybody should think,” Howard said. “I believe that we’re going to be going back to L.A.”
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy wanted to make sure his team didn’t lose hope.
So he called players in for a rare day-after-game meeting Friday to make sure his team had moved on from its Game 4 meltdown. Van Gundy, who hardly ever gives speeches or motivational pep talks, delivered one at the meeting about Greg LeMond’s come back in the 1989 Tour de France he hopes will light a spark.
“He had come from behind and then taken the lead and then lost it on one of the late stages, and people started to write him off,” Van Gundy said. “And at the end of the stage he looked beaten, and he and his wife were talking when they left, and they asked his wife what he had said.
“And he said, ‘It’ll just make the story all that much better when I come back and win it all.’”