It’s pretty safe to assume the Orlando Magic caught an earful of serious grief from coach Stan Van Gundy following Sunday’s stunning home loss to lightly regarded Philadelphia, a defeat John Denton called ” emblematic of how a wildly successful season came to a close for the Magic” (Orlando went 2-4 down the stretch). Even upon escaping the Amway locker room, however, Magic players found no sanctuary, as the Sentinel’s Brian Schmitz reports :
Blue” is an exclusive club located directly outside the dressing room, a place where well-heeled season-ticket holders congregate to eat, drink and be merry. They can root on the team as they enter and exit the locker room, and many linger after the game to chit-chat with players, who usually stop by on their way out to sign autographs.
Shooting guard Mickael Pietrus apparently was in no mood — too blue for the “Blue” folks after the loss — and walked past to head to the players’ parking lot.
Pleading by some fans did not persuade Pietrus to turn back. A security guard and Pietrus himself told me that somebody yelled, “Better go work on your jump-shot!”
Another man in the club then got into a verbal confrontation with the heckler and remarked, along the lines of, “We don’t treat our players like that!”
“I just kept walking,” said Pietrus, the most mellow and happy-go-lucky of men. “Somebody probably had too much beer. Just one of those days, right?”
We can only presume Orlando assistant Patrick Ewing — most recently seen dunking on a hapless Snickers consumer — wasn’t around to provide crowd control