No. 77: Orlando Magic

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 6, 2012, 6:00 PM ET
By Morty Ain | ESPN The Magazine

Last Year's Rank: 16
Title Track: 86
Ownership: 77
Coaching: 87
Players: 96
Fan Relations: 97
Affordability: 48
Stadium Experience: 4
Bang for the Buck: 41

It may have been the most awkward news conference of all time. Coach confirms to media that player is trying to have him fired. Player stumbles in and puts his arm around the coach in support. Coach walks away. Player tells media they're making things up. Media tells player that the coach already confirmed. Nothing better encapsulates how dysfunctional the Orlando Magic were this season than those four minutes shared by Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy. Despite all the scrutiny LeBron James faced after the Decision, Howard's drawn-out Decision 2.0 might have raised the bar -- accusations of blackmail, reports of fighting with teammates, Jeff Van Gundy ripping the front office over his brother's dismissal and the daily chatter about what jersey Howard would be wearing next. The Dwightmare performed the trick of cutting this franchise in half. It was just two years ago when the Magic were one spot away from being numero uno in our standings. And they likely would have been had they not been playing in the now-defunct O-rena. Since last year, they have dropped 50 spots in players, 69 in fan relations, 51 in coaching and 46 in ownership. It's been a total free fall except for the Amway Center, which remarkably ticked up a spot. Four 30-foot-wide concourses, 37 bathrooms and a 42-by-41-foot scoreboard (largest in NBA) showing high def in 4.4 trillion colors help the cause. The stadium also has one other handy-dandy feature fans can appreciate: It's incapable of bolting Orlando.