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The NBA feel-good story of the season has to be the Orlando Magic, a team that started with nothing, but somehow has made everything happen. A refreshing antidote to a league burdened with the overpaid and unaccountable, the over-achieving Magic are a real working-man’s dream team. As they climb up the Eastern Conference playoff ranks, it’s too easy to forget how dim Orlando’s prospects were at the beginning of the season.

Abandoned by its superstars, the team completely cleaned house in the off-season, sending any trade-worthy players packing in a move to clear room under the salary cap for the coming year. The front office gambled on hiring Doc Rivers as the new head coach, a former player with undeniable charm, but no coaching experience whatsoever. Last November, fielding a squad of cast-offs, Rivers settled in for what most politely referred to as a “rebuilding year.” Now, as the regular season draws to a close, Rivers is being hailed as a coaching genius, while Magic men like Darrell Armstrong and John Amaechi are fast becoming household names and role models for the way basketball ought to be.

Doc Rivers: An Inspired Choice

The Orlando Magic were “born” when the NBA voted to grant the franchise on April 22, 1987, shortly after 9:00 am in New York City. They played their first regular season game on November 4, 1989, at 8:00 pm in Orlando. Doc Rivers (born October 13, 1961, in Chicago) was an inspired choice for the head coaching job because the planets in his birth chart are tightly interconnected with the planets and angles of the Magic’s first game chart. Both charts contain a stellium (a group of planets) in early Scorpio, woven into a network of supporting aspects (angles) with other planets.

This shared network of planets that links Rivers with the Magic has most recently been activated by the current movements of transiting Mars and Jupiter. These are probably the two most “athletic” planets, and their influence plays an important role in who’s winning and losing at any given time. On April 6, Jupiter and Mars joined together (made a conjunction) at 10 degrees of the sign Taurus, closely aspecting (making angles to) both Doc Rivers’ and the team’s charts. Currently, the Magic are grabbing headlines as they head into the playoffs on a seven-game winning streak, playing their best basketball of the season. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys!

Magic Coach Doc Rivers is a Libra with killer instincts, thanks to a Mercury, Mars and Neptune conjunction in Scorpio. Popular and congenial off the court, he has a genuine lust for competition, and a knack for nailing the opponent’s weaknesses. Rivers was born two days after Steve Young, the famous 49ers quarterback, so their charts and personalities share certain similarities. While Young is remarkably intelligent, refined and much loved off the field, he is the grittiest of competitors, one of the toughest quarterbacks ever in a very rough game. We generally think of Libra as being more graceful and artistic than athletic, but it’s also a sign that loves to fight for the cause.

Darrell Armstrong: Heart and Soul

The undisputed leader of the Magic players is Darrell Armstrong, the heart and soul of the team. Only 6’1” in a league of giants, Armstrong has refined his spirit and will, and now his game soars. Undrafted out of college, Darrell has earned everything the hard way, fighting his way up through the American minor leagues and playing in Europe before finally breaking into the NBA in 1995. He takes nothing for granted and his humility, positive attitude and hard work have made him one of the most popular players in the NBA.

Born June 22, 1968, in Gastonia, North Carolina, Darrell has a very tight conjunction of the Sun, Mars and Venus, all within the first degree of Cancer. That is a highly focused concentration of energy on a pivotal, or Solstice point of the zodiac, and nobody plays the game with more mad, passionate energy than Darrell Armstrong. Riding the tail of this human comet, the Magic game plan is to run opponents into the ground, compensating with intensity and speed for what they lack in height and depth.

John Amaechi: Sagittarius Renaissance Man

At center, we find John Amaechi, holding his own against the likes of Alonzo Mourning and San Antonio’s Twin Towers. American born but raised in England, Amaechi (born November 26, 1970, at 1:31 am EST in Boston), with his impeccable British accent, doesn’t quite sound like your typical NBA player. In fact, this Sagittarian Renaissance man is working on a doctorate in child psychology and plans to open a practice when his playing days are over.

Pluto, the planet that is linked to psychology and all manner of healing and transformative experiences, is tightly conjunct the Ascendant in Amaechi’s chart. The Ascendant, or rising sign, is perhaps the most personal part of the chart and rules the physical body. Amaechi has revealed that he was tormented by other children when he was young because of his size. He was drawn to child psychology as a result of those painful experiences, and his goal is to use the wisdom he has gained through his own suffering to bring about healing in others.

In a recent victory over the Miami Heat, a collision under the basket with Alonzo Mourning’s elbow opened up a nasty cut on Amaechi’s head. Fifteen minutes and eight stitches later, he was back on the court. When quizzed by reporters about the blow, Amaechi quipped, “I didn’t see stars. We don’t have stars on our team.” Just plenty of heart, hustle and a strong belief in Magic!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Courtney Roberts, M.A.,is a writer, teacher, and consultant, originally from Miami, FL. Her work reflects a unique perspective: a real passion for the 'big picture' that combines cosmology, religious studies and history with a lifetime of observing the dynamic interaction of spirit and cosmos.

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For more information about Courtney Roberts Conrad, click here.

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