Jeff Weltman on 96.9 The Game's In The Zone (June 5, 2020)

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Jeff Weltman on 96.9 The Game's In The Zone (June 5, 2020) 

Post#1 » by Knightro » Sat Jun 6, 2020 11:05 pm

Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman was a guest on In The Zone on Friday, June 5. Here's the transcript of that interview. Link to the interview is at the bottom of the post.

Kravitz: How much relief do you feel now that things are finally settled and the decisions have been made in terms of the NBA restart?

Weltman: Let me just say before I answer that, I wish yourself and all the listeners all the health, safety and unity that we can hope for these days. We spent a lot of time planning, we've spent a lot of time discussing different scenarios and different eventualities and the fact that we're going to be playing makes all of us happy across the league. Within our group especially, we were playing some of our best basketball of the season when we stopped and we're looking forward to the challenge of trying to pick up where we left off.

Kravitz: How many meetings have you been in since March 11th?

Weltman: It would take too long to figure out! Many meetings every single day. It's actually been busier throughout this whole hiatus than it typically would have been had play not been stopped. When you think about all the internal and external meetings and plans and messaging that you have to do. It's been a very hectic time. From an operations standpoint, we're also preparing for the draft and all the other eventualities of the postseason. We were very confident in leadership from the league that they would do everything they could to safely resume the season. Here we go man. We're ready.

Kravitz: What has been the most challenging part of all this for the Orlando Magic organization through this shutdown?

Weltman: That's a great question. It's such a multi layered approach to trying to keep everybody attached, keep everybody working and mentally prepared. We all go through a series of emotions, some more than others. Just trying to keep ourselves united and attached with our goal in mind as we traverse all this uncertainty. There's just a lot to keep an eye on. A lot of people make a huge difference in our organization, starting with our players and coaches and all of our support staff. While we're unable to be together in the same room, to keep everyone attached has been the biggest challenge, but our guys have done an amazing job.

Kravitz: How are your players feeling in terms of health, readiness and fitness?

Weltman: Our players have done an amazing job. I don't know if there's a team in the league who has had more players stay in market. A couple have had to go back and forth. They've stayed attached to their programs, their coaches and each other. I really believe the players and coaches have really strived to go the extra mile to keep the unity, togetherness and camaraderie in place that will allow our players to be successful when we resume.. I think they're in as good of shape as they can be. When you're not playing basketball, you're not going to be in "basketball shape", but they've all done an excellent job of doing whatever they could do. I think they're very excited to get back in the gym and start working.

Kravitz: Two word question. Jonathan Isaac?

Weltman: Nothing's changed and nothing will ever change with the way we're going to approach injuries. Jonathan's timetable will dictate itself as his rehab unfolds. We'll see how he responds to his treatment. He's ramping up his workload. That being said, there's a difference between healthy and being ready to play basketball at a high level. Jonathan hasn't played since January 1st. We're not going to throw him out there just because his knee is healthy. We're not counting on Jonathan being a part of this postseason and we're going to proceed as we were before the hiatus began.

Kravtiz: Are you setting the expectation level low when you say that or are you definitively saying that he will not be part of the postseason?

Weltman: No, I'm not definitively saying anything. We'll obviously always let his response to rehab dictate the timetable. That's no different than it ever was, but I'm saying we don't expect him to be back. With that, we're going to prepare to play the same way we were before the hiatus began.

Kravitz: Is there a concern about Steve Clifford? He's had health concerns in the past and spent a night in the hospital relatively recently. It's an uncomfortable conversation, but is that one you've had?

Weltman: I was just with Coach Clifford this morning at vigil downtown. He looks great. He's been taking care of himself. Coach Clifford works very hard to be healthy. He's had some issues in the past, but he's really in as good of shape as he's been in years. He looks terrific and he's feeling fit. Those aren't conversations that I anticipate will bring about anything other than a healthy, active and elite coach. We're not factoring that in to our situation at this point.

Kravitz: Is there any concern about confusion regarding the format moving forward?

Weltman: It's funny you say that because it's actually the most conventional of most of the options that were being considered. You had all sorts of scenarios being thrown out including soccer style group play where we would all be in groups and two of the five teams would advance out of the bubble. Everyone is going to play 8 games and we do have an 8/9 play in possible, but after that it's into straight playoffs with every series 4/7 games.

Kravitz: In terms of play on the floor is there a team or a type of team who will benefit more than others from the lack of fans and the inability to feed off of those fans?

Weltman: That is a great question. We are entering a great unknown. We've thought about this. Is there any way we can give ourselves an advantage in some of this? Any of the possibilities you may explore would involve having the team together and we can't even do that yet. It's really a great question. From our seed, we are really going to miss our fans. We have some of the best fans in the league and I remember in the playoffs last year one of the Raptors coaches telling me "man, it's loud in here!". It is going to present an uncharted territory that none of us have ever trotted through. I do believe that discussing the possibilities of what it's going to be like before you enter - there may be some benefit to that so you're not encountering things that you haven't even discussed as a team. But those things will all come about as we get the group back together and start preparing.

Kravitz: What kind of communication has there been between the organization and the players in regards to what's been going on around the country?

Weltman: We had a discussion with our players. We also had a discussion with our entire basketball operations staff. I'll leave the specifics of those conversations behind those closed doors. But this is an extremely troubling situation. It's actually brought about a lot of anger and hurt. But through that it seems there's a lot of momentum being generated right now to do good. I think it's all of our responsibility, but especially ours as leaders in the community to not let that momentum that's being generated through this horrific event go to waste. We're talking all the time about how we can best express our leadership to create change.

Kravitz: Was it it at least discussed that the Magic players can sleep in their own beds and not Disney since they all live here?

Weltman: Brandon, I wish that were the case. That would be a real advantage. Unfortunately that was not discussed because wherever the campus was going to be - and it's been settled it will be Disney - once you're in, you're in. A big part of the discussion with the league was trying to create a campus atmosphere where everyone involved doesn't feel like they're locked in their hotel rooms for a month and a half to two months. It was never discussed because the idea of it, whether you want to call it a bubble or a campus, is taking a test, it coming back negative, you enter, you take more tests and you keep the boundaries around the campus as pristine as possible. I think the league is going to be very careful about monitoring that and making sure there's not a lot of in and out.
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Re: Jeff Weltman on 96.9 The Game's In The Zone (June 5, 2020) 

Post#2 » by RookieStar » Sun Jun 7, 2020 2:35 am

Oh yeah... when coach. Liff had to be rushed to the hospital i was actually thinking.. * is it corona?*

Anyhoo I assune there isnt a problem and he will be in ghe sidelines during the games?

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