All the votes have been tallied, and we are now ready to reveal the Orlando Magic's most valuable player for the 2012-13 season.
No, it's not veteran point guard Jameer Nelson.
And it's not young power forward Tobias Harris.
It's not even up-and-coming big man Nik Vucevic.
Wait a minute, what am I doing? You don't want me to introduce the Magic's MVP because I can't do justice to such an important announcement. So I now turn the microphone over to Magic P.A. announcer Paul Porter.
Take it away, Paul . . .
"He is more mysterious than Fran Vazquez! He's more elusive than Russell Westbrook! He's more well-traveled than Juwan Howard! He is 6-foot-something and hails from parts unknown. He averages 0.0 points, 0.0 rebounds and 0.0 assists. On your feet, Central Florida, and let's give it up for the MVP of YOUR Orlando Magic … CAP FLEXIBILITY … ILITY … ILITY … ILITY!!!!!!!"
What's that? You don't think Cap Flexibility is valuable? Then you obviously don't know basketball.
He has to be valuable, otherwise the Magic wouldn't have given up one of last season's best players — Ryan Anderson — to attain him.
If Cap Flexibility weren't valuable, do you really think the Magic would have traded arguably their most popular player — J.J. Redick — to acquire him?
And, let's be honest, shall we? Our main man, Cap Flexibility, was the centerpiece of the Dwight Howard trade. Yes, the Magic got Vucevic, Arron Afflalo and Maurice Harkless, but they were just pawns in the trade for D-12. You know and I know who the Magic really wanted in the deal. In fact, the Magic's own website so much as admitted it.
Headline at OrlandoMagic.com after the Magic dealt Howard: "Flexibility Was Key to Trade."
"Some critics have panned the return that the Magic got in exchange for Howard, but [Magic GM Rob] Hennigan didn't worry so much about the reaction of others," wrote John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com. "He was more focused on the Magic getting six players, five draft picks that will serve as building blocks for the future, a whopping $17.8 million trade exception and … Cap Flexibility in years to come."
Wrote Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel after the Dwight trade: "The Magic wanted to gain draft picks and Cap Flexibility."
You can't stop Mr. Flexibility; you can only hope to contain him. He's ageless and timeless. At some point throughout the history of the NBA, he's been on every roster in the league. And the thing that makes Flexibility so valuable is his versatility. He can transform himself into a star point guard (see Clippers' acquisition of Chris Paul) or morph into a legendary big man (see Lakers' stealing Shaq away from the Magic).
Former Lakers GM Jerry West was interviewed by a fan website last year and was asked to reflect on his relentless pursuit of Shaq. Wrote LakersNation.com: "On draft day, 1996, the Lakers traded Vlade Divac to the Hornets for Kobe Bryant, which gave the team . . . Cap Flexibility. . . . The Lakers then presented Shaq with a seven-year, $120 million deal."
The thing is, though, you have to be very careful with Cap Flexibility. He's unpredictable. Flexibility has been known to suffer bouts of volatility. Yes, he can become a superstar like Shaq and elevate your franchise to championship level, but he can also become a bust like Grant Hill and wreck your franchise for years to come.
In the official history of the team, here is how OrlandoMagic.com describes the franchise putting itself in the position to acquire Hill and fellow free agent Tracy McGrady: "From June 14, 1999, until February 24, 2000, General Manager John Gabriel made 37 player transactions, involving 38 different players. The Magic also stockpiled nine first round draft selections over the next five years and created . . . Cap Flexibility."
When asked Saturday about being named the team MVP, Cap Flexibility was humble and appreciative.
"For me, it's not about now," Flexibility said, "it's about what I can do to help this team for the future."