Magic PG Jameer Nelson admitted that C Dwight Howard's mention of playing with other point guards affected him.
A slumping Nelson said Howard's talking about playing with Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets and Chris Paul of the L.A. Lakers, made him press some this season.
"Maybe a little bit of that," he said after playing one of his better games of the season Friday night, scoring 17 points and adding nine assists in the Magic's 92-80 win against the Lakers.
Magic GM Otis Smith said earlier in the day that he thought part of Nelson's poor play was because Howard "indirectly threw him under the bus."
"I'm here to play basketball and I can't worry about what anybody says. I'm here because I'm a winner and they want me here. I know if they didn't want me, I wouldn't be here," Nelson said.
"I'm human and a lot of things affect you. We're basketball players, but we're also human. A lot of the stuff that came out about other point guards being here was basically months ago, so if I was hurt, I'm over it."
Nelson looked more like himself against the Lakers, hitting 6-of-12 shots. He entered the game shooting just 39 percent.
"I thought (Nelson) was a little more aggressive. He made better plays and he made three threes," coach Stan Van Gundy said. "When you shoot the ball well, everybody will say you're playing well. It's a big part of the game."
Jameer Nelson: Howard trade saga affected me
Orlando Sentinel | Jan 22