The Orlando Magic started in the NBA in 1989 as an expansion team. In their first three seasons of existence, they had losing records. In 1992, Shaquille O’Neal was drafted first overall and he helped the team achieved a 41-41 record but still did not made the playoffs.
Penny Hardaway arrived the next season and the Magic finally made their postseason debut. The duo of Shaq and Penny led the team to their first ever NBA Finals appearance in 1995 but they got swept by the Houston Rockets.
O’Neal left in the summer of 1996 to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Hardaway became the franchise star of the Magic and he led the team to three more playoff appearances. When Penny was traded, the Magic formed a new duo in Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill.
McGrady and Hill did not play together that much due to injuries but the Magic got lucky in 2004. They drafted Dwight Howard first overall and he became the team’s superstar for the next eight seasons that included a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals.
Now, the Magic has not made the playoffs since 2012. Nevertheless, they have produced some great players and here are the five players who made the Magic’s all-time starting five.
Guard – Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson was the Magic’s first star player before Shaquille O’Neal. He spent ten seasons in Orlando wherein he was vital in the early years of the franchise. In the season before Shaq was drafted, Anderson averaged 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He averaged the same points during O’Neal’s rookie season.
Anderson was relegated to third option behind O’Neal and Penny Hardaway during his prime but he was still a key player for the Magic. In 692 games in Orlando, Anderson has scored the second most points in franchise history. He also ranks fourth in rebounds, fifth in assists, first in steals, sixth in blocks, and second in three-pointers made.
Honorable Mention: Guard – Jameer Nelson
Jameer Nelson was the sidekick of Dwight Howard during the Magic’s success from 2007 to 2012. Nelson was an All-Star in 2009, the year they went to the NBA Finals. He spent ten seasons in Orlando good enough to get to the fourth spot of the franchise’s all-time scoring list.