These are some days when you are drinking your double-espresso latté while reading the newspaper -- print edition; call me old-school crazy -- when you come across something that makes you go pfffttt! all over your comfy jammies:
"The Magic (11-13) now find themselves within striking distance of the .500 mark."
I most certainly didn't see it coming, and I'm a trained professional, so I hear.
There still are a lot of NBA minutes waiting to be played for Orlando's rebuilding franchise that is starting to morph into a rejuvenated one, but the prospects are encouraging.
Let's embrace the Nik Vucevic Era wholeheartedly, without any snickering please.
I presume there are still a number of Magic fans still snippy about the rebuilding thing and how Dwight Howard is the worst human being on the planet and why can't it be the way it was ... and yada-yada.
People please. Gather some perspective.
Just look over at the Washington Wizards bench Wednesday night when they roll into the Amway Center.
The Wizards should do away with all pretenses and call themselves the Washington Generals -- the lowly group of fall guys for the Harlem Globetrotters. You don't have to span the NBA globe very far to find the most miserable franchise in the league.
The Wiz Kids never seem to get it right. They lost their first 13 games this season, which follows an uninspiring 20-46 record last season. It won't get any better any time soon.
The Washington Post recently asked Nate Silver -- the numbers-crunching guru who correctly predicted the outcome of this year's presidential election in all 50 states -- and he says the Wizards will finish with a 5-77 record.
The Wizards set the bar for badness in the NBA for obvious reasons: Botched draft picks, bad trades, bad management. The foolishness includes drafting Kwame Brown with the No. 1 pick in the 2001 draft (thank you, Michael Jordan), signing beat-up Gilbert Arenas to a long term deal (at least they dumped him on Orlando), and the most recent miss, Jan Veselý. Drafted sixth overall last year, Veselý is a typical Wizard -- over-rated and under-achieving.
Magic Fan please take note. This could be you.
So what if the Magic go through some growing pains this year, and maybe the next? There is hope here. And none in Washington. Ever. They've only made the playoffs 10 times since 1984 -- and lost in the first round nine times.
"There's really one prime way to get really good in this league and that is to really struggle for a number of years and then every single year or two or three, hit the jackpot with your picks," said Orlando Magic executive Pat Williams. "When you study it, that's the only way it has really worked."
The Miami Heat's checkbook and LeBron James may tell you otherwise, but Williams is on point: Look at the San Antonio Spurs, who took David Robinson at No. 1 in 1987, then lucked into Tim Duncan in 1997 after Robinson got hurt and they finished with the third-worst record in the league (and won the lottery).
Ping-pong kingpin Williams got the right bounce twice with Shaq and Penny, spiraling the Magic franchise into relevancy. The Magic got it right one more time with Howard in 2004. Maybe they won't need another ping-pong ball this time around to make their third run up the NBA stratosphere, though it sure would help.
But the Wizards provide a cautionary tale that nothing should be taken for granted. They whiffed on Brown in 2001 and it's still iffy whether point guard John Wall (on the injured list) was worth the first overall pick in 2010.
In the NBA, it's always good to think big.
Or you can be like the Wizards, small-time for a long time to come.
At least the Magic are within striking distance of relevancy.