Orlando Magic: Four Players Who Wave Their Wands on Mount Rushmore
The Orlando Magic was found in 1989. This franchise has always called the city of Orlando home on the east coast of Florida. The Magic have reached the NBA Finals twice in 1995 and 2009. In 1995 the Magic played the Houston Rockets. Orlando had a great team that year but was beat by the Rockets. In 2009 their return would have them play the Los Angeles Lakers. It would be the same result. The Magic is the second most successful of the four expansion teams that were brought into the league in 1988 and 1989 in terms of winning percentage.
Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway
Hardaway was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the 1993 NBA Draft. He was picked from Memphis University. Hardaway played six seasons with the Orlando Magic. He got his nickname Penny from his jersey number which was one. Hardaway played in 369 games in an Orlando uniform. I will be mentioning one of his teammates in Shaquille O’Neill as my next player. The two of them help lead the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals. Out of the 369 games, he started 365 of them. Hardaway averaged 19 points per game while in Orlando. He won the 1993-94 All-Rookie award and was a four-time All-Star. With him and O’Neal, they were an unstoppable duo.
O’Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA Draft out of Louisiana State University. He is regarded as one of the best centers in NBA history. O’Neal used his size and strength to destroy the players who tried to cover him. I mentioned above he was one the players along with Hardaway that guided the Magic to the finals in 1995. His years with the Magic was short as he only played four years with them. He played in 295 games and 293 he started. His point average was 27.2 while in Orlando. O’Neal won the NBA championship four times and is the NBA Hall of Fame.
Howard was the Orlando Magic first pick and first overall in the 2004 NBA Draft. He came out of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. Howard played eight seasons with the Magic. While with them he played 621 games and 620 he started in. Howard was a center similar to O’Neal. I am not comparing the two because Howard is nowhere near O’Neal’s size. He averaged 18.4 points per game for Orlando. One of Howard’s better aspects is his ability to block. He averaged 2.2 blocks per game while in Orlando. The fans of Magic like him during his time with the franchise.
McGrady was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in the 1st round of the 1997 NBA Draft. He like Howard came out of high school. The school he attends was Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, North Carolina. McGrady was teammates with Howard which like Hardaway and O’Neal were a great duo. McGrady spent four seasons with the Magic. He averaged 28.1 points per game. His best season with Magic was 2002-03 season he played in 75 games and averaged 32.1 points that season. He was not part of the 2009 team that went to the finals. T-Mac like O’Neal is in the NBA Hall of Fame.
I will be honest I am not the biggest NBA fan so I took a stab at this and I reached out to my friends who are NBA experts. I saw four of these players play while they were with the Orlando Magic. These players made the Magic a fun team to watch while they were members. I think that they created two different duos that put Orlando in the news. The current Magic team is in the playoffs let’s see how far they will go.
Did I choose the right four players for the Orlando Magic Mount Rushmore? Leave a comment below.
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