“When I came back here [to the Magic] after leaving for a few years, you learn a lot and you realize that our winning on the court comes from a sense of pride,” Afflalo said. “It’s a purpose in everything that you do. It can be community involvement, how you represent this organization. I feel like it spills onto the court. So when I decided to come back here, it wasn’t just to try to pick up at the basketball level.” Afflalo will receive $50,000 from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation that he can donate to one or more charities of his choice.
The Pelicans are promoting star forward Anthony Davis for the Most Valuable Player, but at least one observer believes the race is already over. “In my opinion, (James Harden) is the MVP of the league,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “It’s not even close, really, what he’s doing with his team and the numbers he’s putting up.”
He said Davis has played at an MVP level, but that the Rockets’ record – with a 15-game lead on the Pelicans going into Saturday’s game – is too great to overcome. “He’s been fantastic. He’s been unbelievable,” Gentry said of Davis. “I think the only difference in him not being heavily, heavily in the conversation is obvious we haven’t had the type of season that a Houston has had or a Toronto has had, you know with (DeMar) DeRozan and those guys. But other than that, what he’s done and what he’s meant to our season, it can’t be expressed in words. He’s truly an MVP candidate. We just don’t have the wins that those teams have and I think that’s the difference in where he is on the scale of MVP as opposed to Harden or DeRozan.”