It’s Christmas Eve Eve, so I hope that all of you guys have completed your shopping for me. Well, you really didn´t even have to go shopping because all I want is a couple of victories to snap up out of this little funk that we´re in. We play San Antonio tonight and then the Celtics on Christmas Day.
It will be tough beating them because they have the best two records in the league, but I feel like we´re going to get our chemistry down pretty quickly with our new guys. I’ve been telling the guys to hang in there and be patient and and that things will turn for the better.
Wednesday was supposed to be a day off for the Magic after we had played Monday and Tuesday night, but we practiced after a back-to-back for the first time since I´ve been in the NBA. All of our new guys needed a practice together, so we gutted it out.
I was still able to take part in a couple of really cool events on Wednesday that I wanted to tell you guys about. First, my foundation was able to provide 100 kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida with gift cards for a shopping spree at Toys R Us (I love how they make the R backward in that name).
It was so much fun for the kids and for me too. A lot of them didn´t even know what toys to pick out so I had to get in there and help them ‘cause ya´ll know I´m just a big kid. They were all over the place and it was good to see the smiles on their face. We walked around the store in circles for like 15 minutes and they would pick up one thing only to see something else they may want. I think they all had a really good time and it was great to see kids smiling around Christmas time. That just warms my heart to know that we can bring some joy to kids who might not otherwise have much this holiday season.
After that, we were able to work with Burlington Coat Factory to take 100 more kids from Community Concept Services to buy new jackets for the winter. Burlington is donating almost 2,000 coats to CCSI, the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Parramore Kidz Zone and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Programs.
Some kids out there don´t have warm coats, so it was big for us to do something like that just before Christmas. Some people out there think that it´s always hot in Orlando and you don´t need warm jackets, but it gets pretty chilly down here. Kids get sick if they don´t have the right gear, and it was fun showing them which coats to get. I was able to use my fashion sense and pick out some coats and clothes that matched their personal style.
Like I´ve always said, it´s about leaving a legacy on and off the floor for me. I want people to know that I am more than just a basketball player and I want the kids and the people around here to know that I care about them and I care about my community. I have been so blessed in my life and I will always do what I can to make a difference in the lives of others.
Well, I´m going to get out of here. Wish us luck in these next two games against the Spurs and Celtics. We´re going to need it, but we´ll get this thing back on track real soon and be rolling again.