Jameer Nelson pulls players together in summer
Sept. 3 Orlando Sentinel: Jameer Nelson didn't wait for training camp next month to start asserting himself as the leader of the Orlando Magic.
Nelson may have played only two NBA seasons and still could be facing a battle for the starting point-guard role, but that didn't stop him from gathering his teammates this summer for a weeklong training/bonding session in Philadelphia, near his hometown of Chester, Pa.
"I feel like I'm the leader of this team, and I should act like it,'' Nelson said last week from Pennsylvania. "My whole purpose was to make sure we continue building on the way we finished last season. I always thought in college, you became a better team if the guys really understand and enjoy each other, develop a chemistry. We can do that with the Magic.''
Although three of the Magic's key players -- Dwight Howard, Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo -- were in Japan at the FIBA World Championship, Nelson still managed to have eight teammates in Philadelphia for the week.
He set up their schedules and paid for everything. They played basketball, lifted weights, ran on the track, even had coaches from the five Philadelphia-area colleges help with training sessions. It was working with a dual purpose.
Together, they all went to restaurants, bowling, to a movie, even to play paintball. Nelson made sure the Magic guys stuck together.