Orlando Magic

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic old logo

The Orlando Magic are a National Basketball Association team based in Orlando, Florida.

Founded: 1989
Owner: Rich DeVos
Formerly known as:
Home Arena: TD Waterhouse Centre (Formerly Known as The Orlando Arena or O-Rena for short)
Uniform colors: Blue, White, Silver, and Black
Logo design: The word "Magic" in blue with silver stars replacing the "a" and the dot on the "i", above a blue basketball with a black comet-like tail.
NBA Championships: None
2004-05 Record: 36-46


The Orlando Magic officially entered the NBA as an expansion franchise in 1989. Led by former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Pat Williams, the Magic hired Matt Guokas as the team's first coach. The inaugural team compiled a respectable 18-64 record with players including Reggie Theus, Scott Skiles (now current coach of the Chicago Bulls), Terry Catledge, Sam Vincent, Otis Smith, and Jerry Reynolds. In the club's first draft in 1989, the Magic chose Nick Anderson with the 11th pick in the first round.

The club's first game was on November 4, 1989, at the Orlando O-Rena. Despite playing a hard-fought game, the visiting New Jersey Nets won 111- 106. The Magic's first victory came 2 days later, as the Magic pounded the New York Knicks 118- 110.

In the 1990 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic selected Dennis Scott with the fourth overall pick. Scott, known as a sharpshooter, helped the Magic compile a 31 - 51 record, still under Coach Guokas. Combined with the fast-paced energy style of Skiles, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player at the end of the season, the Magic heralded the NBA's most improved record that season.
Missing image
Dennis Scott drives in a Magic game.

1992 was a more disappointing season for the Magic, who finished with a 21 - 61 record. Hampered by injuries, the Magic had a then franchise-record 17 game losing streak.

The club's history was changed dramatically with the 1992 Draft. With the first overall pick, the Magic selected big-man Shaquille O'Neal from Louisiana State University. O'Neal, a 7-1 center, made an immediate impact on the Magic, leading the club to a 41 - 41 record. The Magic again were the NBA's most improved franchise, and O'Neal garnered All-Star starter status and the Rookie of the Year award. However, the Magic missed that year's playoffs, because they were tied with the Indiana Pacers for the 8th (and final) playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and because the Pacers owned the tiebreaker.
 O'Neal (wearing blue uniform) plays for the Magic.
O'Neal (wearing blue uniform) plays for the Magic.

In the offseason, Guokas stepped down as head coach, and Brian Hill was promoted to become the Magic's second coach. In addition, despite having the NBA's best non-playoff record (and thereby the least chance of gaining the top draft pick), the Magic again landed the number one draft spot. In the draft, the Magic selected Chris Webber, but traded him to the Golden State Warriors for the number three pick, guard Anfernee Hardaway (known as "Penny" Hardaway) and three future first-round draft picks.

With the lethal combination of O'Neal and Hardaway, the Magic became a dominant team in the NBA, compiling the first 50 win season in franchise history with a 50-32 record. The Magic were in the playoffs for the first time, ranked the second seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the underdog Pacers team swept the Magic 3-0 in the first round, thus ending the Magic's season.

However, in the 1994-1995 season, the Magic's sixth season, after acquiring rebounder Horace Grant as a free agent from the Chicago Bulls, Orlando compiled a 57-25 record, best in the East and winning the Atlantic Conference title. In the playoffs, the Magic defeated the Boston Celtics, Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls, and the Indiana Pacers, advancing to the NBA Finals. The Houston Rockets, though, ended Orlando's dream of a championship by sweeping Orlando 4-0 in the Fianls to take the crown.

In the 1995-1996 season, the Magic again dominated the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division with a 60-22 record, led by O'Neal and Hardaway. However, the Magic were seeded number two, behind the amazing 72-10 record the Chicago Bulls accumulated under Michael Jordan. In the playoffs, after the Magic defeated the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando met the Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals. The combination of Jordan and rebounder Dennis Rodman was too much for the Magic, and Orlando was swept 4-0 in the Eastern Conference finals.

In the offseason, in a huge blow to the Magic franchise, O'Neal left as a free agent to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the Magic still mananged to compile a 45-37 record, led by Hardaway, Darrell Armstrong, the team's emotional leader, and newly-acquired free agent Rony Seikaly. In the playoffs, the Magic stunned the favorites Miami Heat in the first round 3-2 after losing the first two games. In the middle of the season, though, urged by player discontent, management fired coach Brian Hill and named Richie Adubato as interim coach for the rest of the season.

The Magic hired Chuck Daly to be head coach for the 1997-1998 season. In addition, Hall of Famer Julius Erving joined the Magic's front office, giving Orlando immense hope for a successful season. However, the season was hampered by injuries, as Hardaway sat out the majority of the season . Anderson, combined with newly acquired free agent Bo Outlaw, led the team to a respectable 41-41 record, just out of reach of the NBA playoffs. In addition, Rony Seikaly was traded during the season to the New Jersey Nets for three role players and a future draft pick.

In 1998-1999, with the acquisition of Matt Harping and Michael Doleac and a healthy Hardaway and Anderson, the Magic tied for the Eastern Conference's best record in the lockout-shortened season, 33-17. Armstrong again led the team emotionally, winning the NBA's Sixth-Man and Most Improved Player awards. In addition, Orlando also acquired brothers Dominique and Gerald Wilkins, who were past their primes but were still regarded as NBA greats. In the playoffs, though, the Magic were seeded number 3 because of tiebreakers and faced the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers, led by Allen Iverson, upset the Magic 3-1 in the first round.

In 1999, the Magic, under new General Manager John Gabriel, who was named Executive of the Year, acquired rookie-coach Doc Rivers. Gabriel dismantled the previous team and acquired multiple future first round draft picks. With a team with virtually no name players and little experience, Rivers and Armstrong, the team captain, led the Magic to a 41-41 record, barely out of the playoffs. At the end of the season Rivers was named Coach of the Year by the NBA. This year was characterized by the slogan "Heart and Hustle", as the team was known for its hard-working style.

In the following offseason, Gabriel, with millions of cleared salary cap space, attempted to lure three of the NBA's most prized free agents: Tim Duncan, Grant Hill, and Tracy McGrady. Despite Duncan opting to remain with the San Antonio Spurs, the Magic gained Hill, a perenial All-Star, and McGrady. However, Hill was limited to 4 games because of an ankle injury. McGrady blossomed into a star during this season, becoming one of the NBA's top scorers. With the addition of Mike Miller from the draft, the Magic compiled a 43-39 record, including a nine-game winning streak, that season, and entered the playoffs once again. Miller won the Rookie of the Year that season.

Led once again by McGrady, nicknamed "T-Mac", Orlando once again posted a winning record, 44-38, in the 2001-2002 season. However, Hill was still severely limited by his ankle injury and did not play for the vast majority of the season. T-Mac, combined with Armstrong, Miller, and 3-point sharpshooter Pat Garrity, formed the core of the team that season. However, the Magic were defeated 3-1 by the Charlotte Hornets (the team has since relocated, becoming the New Orleans Hornets).
Missing image
Magic player Monty Williams scores in a 2002 playoff game.

In 2002-2003, with the acquisition of Gordon Giricek and Drew Gooden, T-Mac once again led the Magic to a 42-40 record. Despite still not having Hill due to injury, the Magic entered the playoffs for the third straight year. However, after taking a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven first round series, the Magic faltered and fell to the Detroit Pistons 4-3 in a heartbreaker.

The Magic's 15th season in 2003-2004 proved to be one of its toughest ever. Even with the acquisition of veterans Tyronn Lue and Juwan Howard, the Magic struggled early. After winning its first game, the Magic lost 19 consecutive games, setting a franchise record. The Magic finished with a disappointing 21-61 record, the worst in the NBA. In the middle of the 19-game losing streak, coach Doc Rivers was fired, and assistant Johnny Davis was promoted. In addition, general manager Gabriel was replaced by John Weisbrod.

In the offseason, Weisbrod dismantled the team. Though he kept Davis at coach, he shook up the player roster, only keeping a few of the players from last season. The most significant trade was that of Tracy McGrady. McGrady, discontent with the Magic, wished to move on; Weisbrod accused McGrady of "slacking off" and not attending practices (McGrady later admitted that he did not give 100% percent during the 2003-2004 season). The Magic traded McGrady to the Houston Rockets for Steve Francis, Kelvin Cato, and Cuttino Mobley. In addition, the Magic also acquired center Tony Battie and free agent Hedo Turkoglu. With the number one draft pick, the Magic selected high-school phenom Dwight Howard and traded for point guard Jameer Nelson. Nelson, who most scouts speculated to be a top-10 pick, fell to the 20th pick, and the Magic traded a future first-round draft pick to the Denver Nuggets for Nelson.

After a promising 13-6 start, the Magic began to fall apart. First, Weisbrod traded Mobley for Doug Christie from the Sacramento Kings. Christie, because of his emotional ties to the Kings, at first refused to play for the Magic. Later on, Christie claimed he had bone spurs and was placed on the injured list after playing only a few games for the Magic. Near the end of the season, with a playoff-push faltering, Weisbrod fired Davis and promoted Chris Jent to become interim head coach. The Magic are currently in a search for a new head coach.
Missing image
Jameer Nelson, a Magic player, plays in a 2005 game.
Throughout the season, bolstered by Hill's return, the Magic played spectacularly, defeating top NBA teams such as the San Antonio Spurs and the Detroit Pistons. However, led by the erratic play of Francis, the Magic also lost to league bottom-feeders, such as the expansion Charlotte Bobcats and the Atlanta Hawks. However, Howard showed great promise, becoming one of the few players to average a double-double. Howard was a consistant rebounder and scorer, becoming the first rookie to start and play all 82 games in a season. In addition, Nelson, after a slow start, developed into a talented player, taking over the starting point guard position. Hill also returned and averaged 19 points a game. Hill was chosen an All-Star starter by NBA fans, and Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson were named to the All-Rookie first and second teams, respectfully. Howard was an unanimous selection.
Missing image
Steve Francis, a star of the Magic, controls the ball in a 2004 NBA game.

The Magic finished the season with a 36-46 record, disappointing after a strong start. Their playoff push was hampered by injuries in the last quarter of the season: a season-ending broken wrist for sixth man Hedo Turkoglu, a shin injury to Grant Hill, a rib cage injury to Nelson, and a three-game suspension to Francis for allegedly kicking a photographer. In the end, the Magic ended a few games out of the playoffs. However, the promise for the future is great, as the club hopes to build around Howard, Hill, Francis, and Nelson and become a playoff contender with a new coach.

On May 23, however, the Magic's plans were disrupted by the abrupt resignation of General Manager and Chief Operating Officer John Weisbrod. In addition, the Magic announced the following day that Brian Hill, the coach who led the Magic to the NBA Finals under O'Neal and Hardaway, would return as head coach.

The Magic will pick 11th in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Players of note

Basketball Hall of Famers:

Not to be forgotten:

Retired numbers:

6--The Fans

Current stars:

Current Roster (as of the end of the 2004-2005 season)

Missing image
Magic player Dwight Howard

Staff (as of the end of the 2004-2005 season)

Current Coaching Staff

Note: The Magic have hired former Magic coach Brian Hill to be head coach again.

  • Head Coach: Brian Hill
  • Assistant Coaches: Note: Brian Hill has recently announced the following two assistant coaches. It is expected that at least one more will be hired.
  1. Randy Ayers
  2. Tom Sterner

External links

See also

See also: List of current NBA playersTemplate:NBAfr:Magic d'Orlando it:Orlando Magic ja:オーランド・マジック pt:Orlando Magic


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