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Former Bishop McGuinness standout Daniel Orton struggles, is ejected in professional debut

Daniel Orton labors through disappointing debut in Orlando
By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: July 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm •  Published: July 5, 2010
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Orton admitted he entered last week's session of two-a-days out of shape and didn't have his usual legs Monday. It was his first dose of reality in the big leagues, where one bad day could lead to negative perceptions. And on Monday, Orton's performance allowed whispers of whether he should have declared for the draft following one year at Kentucky to spread throughout the gym. One rival Eastern Conference scout labeled Orton "very immature" and "emotional" as he watched the rookie walk off the floor following the near scuffle with McRoberts.

Orton, though, said he has no regrets.

"I thought about it up until the exact day that I had to leave," Orton said. "But after that I couldn't worry about it anymore. What's done is done."

"It's a lifelong dream fulfilled. I'm glad to be here finally. Being in the NBA is just a relief. You put in a lot of hard work your whole life pretty much. And it's just a dream come true."

As for slipping to 29th, coming within two selections of failing to secure a guaranteed NBA contract, Orton said he has used his draft position as motivation. And looking back on his debut, Orton knows he tried too hard to silence his critics.

"Coach (Stan Van) Gundy came in and said, 'You're trying to work too hard. You're trying to rush and trying to prove yourself when you really don't have to.' And that kind of just made me feel relieved.

"A lot of people say I need time to develop. And I'm not going to lie about that, I do need time to develop. But I don't think it's going to take as much time as people think it will. I hope not to tell you the truth. I know I've put in a lot of hard work and a lot of time. So hopefully I can get quicker (production) than most people think."


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