Orlando Magic is one of the most iconic teams in the NBA, with a long and illustrious history. The team is based in Orlando, Florida, a city known for its sunny skies and family friendly atmosphere. Orlando Magic has consistently made it to the playoffs and has had some of the NBA’s most beloved players donning their colors. Here, we take a look at the incredible history of the Orlando Magic and their amazing roster of talented players.
A Timeline of Magic History
The Orlando Magic first took to the court in 1989 as an expansion team. They had an impressive first season, finishing with a 41-41 record and making the playoffs. They continued to play well throughout the 1990s, as they added stars like Anfernee Hardaway, Nick Anderson, and Shaquille O'Neal to their star-studded roster.
In 1995, the Magic made it to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history and faced off against the Houston Rockets. Despite a valiant effort, the Magic could not overcome the star power of Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets, and eventually fell 4-0 in the series.
The Magic continued to play competitively in the late nineties, and in 1999, they returned to the NBA Finals. This time, the Magic were led by young superstars Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill, but they again found themselves on the losing end, losing 4-1 to the wondrous San Antonio Spurs.
The 2010s saw the Magic go through a period of rebuilding and restructuring. They were able to assemble a competent roster of young players including Ersan İlyasova and Aaron Gordon, but they were never able to make a deep postseason run.
Star Players throughout the Years
The Orlando Magic have had the good fortune of having several of the NBA's greatest players donning their colors throughout the years.
Anfernee Hardaway is one of the most iconic players in Magic history. He was drafted 3rd overall in the 1993 draft and quickly became an All-Star caliber player. During his time with the Magic, Hardaway became a fan favorite with his incredible athleticism and smooth shooting ability. He was also a member of the 1995 All-Star team.
Nick Anderson is another legendary Magic player. Anderson was drafted 11th overall in the 1989 draft and quickly became one of the most important players on the team. His defensive ability and intensity were integral to the Magic's success, and he was another key member of the 1995 All-Star team.
Shaquille O'Neal is perhaps the most famous player to ever wear a Magic uniform. He was drafted number one overall in the 1992 draft and quickly formed one of the NBA's most formidable duos with Hardaway. O'Neal was an All-Star in 1993 and was integral to the Magic's run to the 1995 NBA Finals.
Tracy McGrady was another incredible player during the Magic's heyday in the nineties. He was drafted 9th overall in 1997 and quickly established himself as one of the most dynamic and exciting players in the NBA. He was part of the 1999 All-Star team and was integral to the Magic's run to the Finals that year.
Recent Magic Achievements
The Orlando Magic are still searching for their first NBA title, but they have had some success in recent years. During the 2018-19 season, the Magic put together an impressive 42-40 record and made the playoffs for the first time in seven years.
The Magic had an excellent season in 2019-20 and went all the way to the Eastern Conference finals, where they were unfortunately defeated by the eventual champions, the Miami Heat. The Magic were led by All-Stars Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier, who formed one of the most formidable duos in the league.
The Orlando Magic have experienced a lot of success throughout their history, but more importantly, they've produced some of the NBA's most beloved players and come up with some classic playoff moments. Despite not getting their first championship yet, the Orlando Magic are still one of the most iconic teams in the league.
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