What the Magic Stand to Gain
Dwight Howard: Everyone marks Kobe as the NBA's preeminent love-him-or-hate-him player, but D-12 earns a fair amount of vitriol, whether for his lack of refinement in the post, his Shaq II free throw stroke, his alleged faux-choir boy persona or the sentiment that slam dunk stardom has rendered the D.P.O.Y. publicly overrated. Let's just say those Patrick Ewing comparisons (ahem) would disappear with a ring.
Hedo Turkoglu: Like kindred spirit Lamar Odom, Hedo will be a free agent signing his last long-term, high-dollar deal this summer. A marvelous turn which began in Game 7 against Boston could land Hedo near the top of the offseason ledger, above everyone but Carlos Boozer. Turk needs a good Finals series to keep that hope alive, though.
J.J. Redick: Even if he couldn't sniff the Eastern Conference Finals, Redick will always have Boston. Hopefully, he's always have Los Angeles, too. Just be glad he escaped Darko status. Adonal Foyle is the human victory cigar down here, not Redick.
Adonal Foyle: Hey, being a human victory cigar ain't such a bad life, you know. Winning a ring just a short flight from Home Sweet St. Vincent would be divine.
Otis Smith: Even a title doesn't make Rashard Lewis reasonably paid, but who cares? You don't get jewelry for balanced books (unless your name is Geoff Petrie -- I hear the Maloofs now give bonuses to any employee who can find a way to save a few bucks. It's ironic!).
Rashard Lewis: Barring an unlikely MVP trophy in coming years, the only title 'Shard replaces "overpaid second banana" on his C.V. with is "NBA champion."
Adidas: Following Kevin Garnett's mangled sloganeering with a picture perfect Dwight smile would be just too much. But really, Adidas has already won -- by keeping LeBron off T.V. for the next two weeks. (Riiiiiiight.)
Jameer Nelson: Willis Reed analogies are always, always botched. But that's never stopped a hack columnist from trying. Who benefits? Jameer Nelson benefits.
Amway: Quick question -- if Dwight leads the team to win in Game 5 at home, resulting in hours of media attention and millions of extra eyeballs for Amway Arena, does he automatically reach Silver Producer status? An NBA championship has to be the equivalent to, what, 900 or so tubs of laundry detergent, right?
Courtney Lee: I suppose it's too late to alter the all-rookie team, isn't it? But Lee can expect consideration for the 2010 Rookie Challenge with a Finals victory. And what's life without an appearance at the Rookie Challenge?
Stan Van Gundy: The ham sandwiches served at the NBA Champion Coaches Club are phenomenal. Especially compared to the ones at the Fired After Being Called Out By Big Man Club. Rubbing it in to Pat Riley, Shaquille O'Neal and spotlight-hogging lil' brother Jeff would also be incredibly sweet. Christmas 1969, never forget!
Rafer Alston: If the Magic win, Skip will have executed what is known in the business as a "badpressectomy." I mean, as it is no one has made a valet joke in at least a month! Imagine what a ring will do for his rep.
Marcin Gortat: Never mind Marcin's free agent opportunities. I think international acclaim results in an automatic lifetime pension in Poland.
Mickael Pietrus: You think they'll all continue to snicker at the phrase "the Michael Jordan of France" when Pietrus shuts down Kobe and grabs a ring? ... Wait, why is everyone snickering? What's so funny?