E'Twaun Moore learned the NBA is a cold-hearted business his rookie season with the Boston Celtics.
Lockers had barely been cleaned out and team uniforms packed away when the former Purdue star and East Chicago native was traded to Houston, then immediately waived.
"In the back of my mind, I was hurt a little bit because I didn't get to play, but I stayed positive," Moore said.
The 6-foot-3 guard never lost hope and recently agreed to a two-year deal with the rebuilding Orlando Magic.
"I'm definitely excited. You hardly play (in Boston) and then you get a chance on a new team," Moore said. "I might even get to know Mickey (Mouse) a little bit."
Moore averaged 2.9 points in 38 regular-season games with the Celtics. His agent, Chicago-based Mark Bartelstein, says he'll be battling to be the backup point guard behind Jameer Nelson.
"He played the best of any guard in the (Las Vegas) summer league," Bartelstein said.
"I was confident that something would come through," Moore said. "I had a few options. It was just a matter of waiting and being patient."
Various NBA web sites had listed the Bulls, Pacers and Heat as teams most interested in the E.C. Central grad.
"It's a business. A lot of crazy things happen and you've got to work through it," Moore said.
The Magic don't have All-Star center Dwight Howard, who was traded to the Lakers, nor coach Stan Van Gundy, who was fired and replaced by Jacque Vaughn. But Moore says none of that affects him or his focus.
"I just want to play and show people what I've been working on with my game," Moore said. "I'm in a great area, a great city. It's going to be exciting."