Jameer Nelson Talks Smith, Van Gundy, Howard

Most of the Magic's offseason moves, most notably August's Dwight Howard blockbuster, indicated that the team was entering a full-on rebuilding process. However, one transaction that didn't seem to align with that approach was the team's re-signing of veteran point guard Jameer Nelson to a three-year deal that could pay him more than $25MM. Nelson will be one of the few core veteran players on a roster otherwise dominated by guys on rookie deals or bad contracts. He recently appeared on WYGM in Orlando to discuss his new role with the Magic, and Sports Radio Interviews transcribed a few of the highlights. Let's check them out….

On whether he approved of the team letting go of GM Otis Smith and head coach Stan Van Gundy:

"I’ve never said this publicly, but no, I wasn’t in favor of it. But I understand it’s a business. I had talks with Otis and Stan prior to the situation and after, so that tells you my relationship with those guys…. I just know that they put me in a great situation, being my coach and being my GM, and giving me opportunities…. But I also know that sometimes you need change and it’s not my decision to make the changes."

On his decision to re-sign with the Magic despite the looming front office and roster overhaul:

"The thing was, you have to make a business decision for yourself and your family when you’re dealing with any business…. After that, the thing I had to think about was, what’s my business going to be and where do I want to have my business? And I wouldn’t want to have it anywhere else but Orlando. I love the fans and the fans love me. They’ve definitely embraced myself and my family…. We feel like this is our home now."

On Howard being traded to the Lakers:

"He wanted a change and that’s what he got. My job, for Dwight and to Dwight, is to be a friend. I told him I was happy for him. I was happy for him to be able to move on with his career and I wished him best of luck and hoped he got his recovery and his rehab and everything went well…. We’d been together for X amount of years and it’s tough to see guys go, but like I said earlier, it’s always that business side of things."

On whether he and Howard had a falling out during Dwight's last days in Orlando:

“No. My agent actually told me that he read something saying that me and Dwight almost got into a fight and I just laughed it off. We’re grown men and anytime you’re competing, you’re going to have disagreements. That’s happened numerous amount of times and not just last year…. Everything and anything was just kind of taken out of proportion. And also we were watched closely. We never got into a scuffle, never got into a bad situation and we still remain friends to this day.”

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