The last time Rashard Lewis was at Amway Center, Orlando Magic fans gave him a raucous ovation in gratitude for 31 / 2 seasons of service. It could've also been a rally of sympathy and support for a former all-star who had been banished to the NBA purgatory known as a rebuilding franchise.

Lewis was sidelined with right knee tendinitis when the Washington Wizards played in Orlando last February, a few months removed from his trade from a team that was making an ill-fated attempt to appease its franchise star, Dwight Howard. He was devastated by the move, and felt even more awkward as his image still adorned banners on light posts surrounding the arena and could be spotted in photographs along the hallways and visiting locker room.