Magic have a winner in Jameer Nelson
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The Portland Trail Blazers decided to pass on Nelson, who spent four seasons at Saint Josephâ¿¿s University, and pick high school point guard Sebastian Telfair at No. 13, while the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Hornets and Miami Heat all picked high school players with pick 17-19. Even though some teams seemed to show a lack of respect for the skills that Nelson displayed in college, the Saint Joseph's product has handled his situation with class. "It's a blessing in disguise," said Nelson. "Because obviously I'm wanted down here (Orlando), I'm needed, and I obviously want to be down here." What merits Telfair being selected over Nelson? What has Telfair against his high school competition that showed Portland that he will have more of an impact in the NBA than Nelson. Nelson averaged 16.8 points, 5.7 assists, 4.6 rebounds. and 2.05 steals in 125 career games at Saint Joseph's. He left as the school's all-time leader in points, assists and steals. Saint Joseph's also retired his jersey number 14. What about Atlanta, New Orleans and Miami? The Hawks could have moved Jason Terry to shooting guard and immediately plugged Nelson in at point. The Hornets and Heat both have excellent lead guards in Baron Davis and Dwyane Wade, but Nelson would have been a great backup and could have even played with either one in certain situations. Nelson will surely remember the teams that decided to pass on him when he meets them on the court. He will be highly motivated and will play with a chip on his shoulder. "Yeah, it's not going to go away," said Nelson. "It's not going to go away after the season either. It will be with me throughout my career. Whatever I have done so far in my career, in basketball or anything else, I was always told I canâ¿¿t do something. To me, to be drafted 20 is a blessing. By acquiring Nelson, the Magic have a player who plays the game with passion, heart and desire. No matter what the odds, Nelson is always ready for the challenge. "Passion. I have love for the game," said Nelson. "I know that everyone knows that I have tattoos, and I have a tattoo right here on my chest that says, â¿¿love of the gameâ¿¿, a heart with a basketball in it. This is my job, and Iâ¿¿m going to approach it like it is my job. Something that I love to do, something that is fun to me." Nelson is already acting like a professional. He is coming to a team that finished an NBA-worst 21-61 in 2003-04, and is also rumored to be close to trading superstar Tracy McGrady. But, that does not deter his class or his professionalism. "I'm going to come in here and fulfill my role," said Nelson. "Hopefully my role is strong enough to help the team with their record. They have great guys on this team, I"m going to do whatever I can do." Nelson is ready to prove to the teams that passed on him that they made a mistake. Not only did the Magic get a class act when they traded for Nelson, but they got a pretty good basketball player who is determined to succeed.