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“It was rough, it was rough,” said Smith, who has been close to Arenas for years. “It was rough to come out of my mouth and it was rough for him to receive it.”

But the biggest story for the Magic continues to be Howard.

“I’ve been here since I was 18,” Howard said. “All I know is Orlando. All I know is this city. When I got down here it was the biggest place in the world to me. … That’s why it’s tough. Very tough.”