Top Stories

Rashard Lewis Rumors

All NBA Players
#0
Rashard Lewis
Rashard Lewis
Position: -
Born: 08/08/79
Height: 6-10 / 2.08
Weight:214 lbs. / 97.5 kg.
Earnings: $155,332,815 ($744,791*)
The Magic went 40-42 the season before Lewis was acquired. They went 52-30 the next season. Van Gundy said Lewis was the spark for that turnaround. Told of Van Gundy’s comments, Lewis said, “It most definitely means a lot. It means my time wasn’t wasted here. And I’m not the only person that turned it around. Of course, Dwight Howard was a big part of that. “And most definitely Stan Van Gundy was a huge part of that, the way he coached the game. I think a lot of guys take it for granted when he gets to screaming and yelling and nagging. He’s doing it because he’s coaching. He’s not doing it because it’s something personal against the guys on the team. And it shows out on the court; in the years he’s been here, we got three Southeast Division championships and we got an Eastern Conference championship banner. That’s not just from the players.”
“I woke up that morning and I kind of heard the rumors of a trade, but you always hear rumors of a million different trades or a million different things that go on in the NBA,” Lewis said. “I didn’t talk to the coach about it. I didn’t talk to the GM [Otis Smith]. Nobody told me nothing. “I came to the shootaround in the morning, and the vibe was weird. It was different at that shootaround that morning. Some guys were laughing and upbeat; maybe they knew about the trade, I don’t know. It was just a different vibe. “Then, when I left to go home, I ate my pregame meal and took a nap. My phone started ringing while I was asleep; I woke up and looked at my phone and I saw it was Otis calling. I pretty much knew what happened just by seeing him call.”
In an interview Tuesday, as he sat in his old team’s practice gym, Lewis revealed that it took him months to come to terms with the blockbuster trade. He went from a team with legitimate NBA title aspirations to a team headed for the NBA lottery. And although he had heard rumors that a trade was in the offing, the deal still caught him by surprise. “At the time, when the trade happened, it was a blow,” Lewis recalled. “It was a huge blow. My main focus was to try and win the NBA championship for the city of Orlando. We got close one year. We’d been to the Eastern Conference finals the year after that. It was nothing but good times here when we were winning ballgames, and I put everything into trying to bring a championship for this city and for this team. It just seemed like it came crashing down all in one day.”
“Otis is going to be famous for making the Rashard Lewis deal and letting Dwight Howard go, and hopefully he doesn’t let him go. “One, they should show him a little bit more respect. And two, they should really get another dominant player in there. “If you look at the history of the league, most [successful] teams have had a definite 1-2 punch. Right now in Orlando you only have a 1 punch, so . . . “No one can really do it by themselves. When you have Otis on TV saying, ‘We’re not going to do what he wants us to do,’ you just give a guy ammunition to say, ‘You know what? I’m tired of this, I want to go somewhere else.’ ’’
He has more security and comfort, which he struggled to find last season, when he dealt with the rejection from the Magic and dejection with the Wizards. Lewis also had a right knee injury that limited his productivity and contributed to his frustration. “I wasn’t really into it like I should’ve been. It seemed like everything came so fast during the trade,” Lewis said. “My knee was bad. You wanted a fresh start. You wanted it to be over because you’re coming to a team in turmoil and you’re trying to fix it but they dug a hole so deep, they just couldn’t get out of it. I didn’t say nothing about it last year. But it was most definitely very difficult.”