Paolo jump on the bandwagon because magic is taking place now

I’m not only jumping on the Paolo Banchero bandwagon.

I’m running the dad-gum thing!

Jump on, baby.

orlando magic Heading to the 2025 NBA Finals.

Latest on 2026!

Making a franchise change on Thursday night, the Magic drafted 6-foot-10, 250-pound Duke manchild Paolo Banchero as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. I know, I know, I’m breaking my long-standing policy about not getting overly excited over the crapshoots known as the NBA draft and not expecting too much from a 19-year-old, who only played college basketball for one year. And, no, I’m not going to write that mundane, obligatory sentence that sports columnists write after every draft in any sport: “We won’t know for a few years what Jeff Veltman, Magic’s president of basketball operations, made. Or not. Correct choice.”

This is not a night to be realistic or rational; This is not a night to be cynical or skeptical; This is not a night to linger in the misery of being the worst-losing franchise in the NBA in the last 10 years.

no no no. It is a night to be cheerful and joyful and joyful and gleeful; A night to let your imagination run wild with intoxicating possibilities.

Just like the thousands of Magic fans at the NBA Draft Party at Amway Center on Thursday night, who erupted after Banchero’s name was announced and confetti fell from the ceiling.

It will be time to come back to Earth later and remember that the Magic had the second worst record in the league this season and are still far from competing for any championships, but it was a night when Magic fans again Would dare to dream. ,

can you believe it? Can you imagine this? After Mario Hejonzas, Alfrid Paytons, and Aaron Gordon, Magic finally drafted a player who fans believe is going to be a star just like the other No.

Go ahead, Dwight.

Go ahead, Shaq.

Move over, Penny (via Chris Webber).

Make room for Paolo.

I don’t care what Veltman said before the draft not to put undue pressure on Magic’s pick by calling him a superstar, the face-of-the-player of the franchise, before playing a minute in the NBA.

“Predicting the stars,” said Veltman, “is a stupid thing to do.”

Then call me a fool.

Call me stupid

Call me NBA Draft illiterate, but remember where you heard it before.

Paolo Banchero is going to be a superstar.

paolo banchero Is To become a superstar.

He’s going to be amazing, incredible, fabulous. That’s going to be the second coming of Chris Webber or maybe Chris Bosch.

Hear what current Arkansas and former NBA head coach Eric Musselman, who had to try to find a way to stop Banchero during the NCAA Tournament, had to say about him in an interview with The Athletic: “He was the one Accountable for what we didn’t have. Our scouting reports couldn’t take anything away from her. When they needed the basket, she went to him.”

listen what cbsssports.com Wrote about him: “Banchero was the best freshman in college hoops last season, led his team to the Final Four, he’s got an NBA-ready body, he’s got a litany of skills, and he’s this year’s best passing.” Biggs is one of the formats. There has never been a moment when his skills haven’t combined an amazing combination of old-school mobile big and modern play-through power forward. He’s the most NBA-ready player in this draft.”

Veltman is right when he says it’s not fair to put that kind of pressure on a draft pick, but you know what else isn’t fair? Asking fans to endure a decade of misery, malaise and countless iterations of rebuilding, without a player on their team who really excites and ignites them.

It’s been more than 10 years since the greatest coach in Magic history (Stan van Gundy) coached the greatest player in Magic history (Dwight Howard) to superstardom, and Magic fans have been deprived of a star ever since. Huh. Stan, on his way to becoming one of television’s smartest NBA analysts, told me a few days ago that the Magic are building up an interesting young roster — except for one key ingredient.

“My question with Magic is, and it’s not a mistake because those guys are hard to find, but do they have a star they can build around? Do they have a player who can be a cornerstone, a The kind of person you get the ball from in the fourth quarter of a playoff game. I’m not saying they don’t, but it would be hard to say with certainty that they do.”

Memo to Stan and the rest of the NBA:

They do now.

His name is Paolo Banchero, and I’m on the bandwagon.

Jump on, baby.

Next stop, NBA Finals, 2025!

email me here mbianchi@orlandosentinel.com, Hit me up on Twitter @BianchiWrites and listen to my open mic radio show every weekday from 6 am to 9:30 pm on FM 96.9, AM 740 & HD 101.1-2.

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