The Most Beloved Orlando Magic Players of All Time
The Orlando Magic has been a staple in the NBA since the former’s inception in 1989. Over the years, the team has had its fair share of players who have left an indelible mark on their history.
From Shaquille O’Neal to Dwight Howard, here are some of the most popular Orlando Magic players of all time. A reminder if you’re a true fan, make sure to buy Orlando Magic jersey only from trusted stores.
From the 1992 NBA Draft came Shaquille O’Neal, who was picked first overall. Shaq, as he is affectionately called, spent the first four years of his career with the Magic and helped lead the team to its first NBA Finals appearance in 1995. O’Neal was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1993 and was selected to the All-Star team in each of his four seasons with the Magic.
Anfernee ‘Penny’ Hardaway
Penny Hardaway was the third overall pick by the Magic in the 1993 NBA Draft. Along with Shaq, Penny helped lead the Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995. Hardaway’s versatility as a guard made him a matchup nightmare for opposing teams. He was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1995 and 1996 and was selected to the All-Star team in three consecutive seasons from 1995 to 1997.
Tracy McGrady was acquired by the Magic in a trade with the Toronto Raptors in 2000. From there, he quickly established himself as one of the most dominant scorers in the NBA, winning back-to-back scoring titles in 2003 and 2004. McGrady was named to the All-NBA First Team in both of those seasons and was selected to the All-Star team in each of his four seasons with the Magic.
The first overall pick by the Magic in the 2004 NBA Draft, Dwight Howard quickly established himself as one of the league’s premier defenders, taking home the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award three consecutive times, from 2009 to 2011.
Howard also led the Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was named to the All-NBA First Team five times and was selected to the All-Star team eight times during his tenure with the Magic.
Other Popular Players
While Shaq, Penny, McGrady and Howard are undoubtedly the most beloved players in Magic history, there have been other players who have left their mark on the franchise. Here are two notable mentions:
- Nick Anderson – Nick Anderson was a key member of the Magic’s inaugural team in 1989. Anderson played his entire 10-year career with the Magic and ranks among the franchise leaders in points, rebounds and steals.
- Jameer Nelson – A fan favorite during his 10-year stint with the Magic, Jameer Nelson was selected to the All-Star team in 2009 and was a key member of the Magic’s 2009 NBA Finals team.
- Grant Hill – Originally from the Detroit Pistons, Grant Hill is an NBA great who joined the Orlando Magic in 2000, where he spent five seasons. While injuries limited his playing time, he still managed to make an impact on the court.
In the 2004-2005 season, Hill averaged 19.7 points per game and led the Magic to the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
All these players not only helped put the Magic on the map but also provided fans with some moments that will be remembered for years to come.