Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic is an American professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida who play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The franchise has also been in the playoffs for more than half of its existence (14 playoff appearances in 27 years).

 

Of all the four expansion teams brought into the league in 1988-89 Orlando has been just second in terms of winning percentage, after the Miami Heat. The club is currently one of two teams in the major North American professional sports leagues to play in the city of Orlando, the other being Major League Soccer's Orlando City SC. The Club play at the Amway Center in Orlando which is a state of the art arena which has been the Magic’s home since it opened in 2010.

As with many teams the choice of the name was a matter of some disagreement. A competition was organised through the columns of the Orlando Sentinel newspaper to choose the name. Out of a total of 4,296 submitted entries, the names were subsequently narrowed to four, "Heat", "Tropics", "Juice", and "Magic". The last one was picked after the franchise owner brought his 7-year-old daughter Karyn to visit in Orlando. Subsequently, it was announced that the committee chose the Magic to be the new name of the Orlando franchise in the NBA. The name "Magic" links with the city's biggest tourist attraction and provider of employment Walt Disney World, along with its Magic Kingdom.

Nick Anderson has spent more seasons with the team than any other player in team history. He is the team leader in games played, minutes played, field goals, steals, and points. He is also in the top five in all rebounding categories, assists, free throws, and three pointers.

Current player Dwight Howard is the Magic leader in career rebounds and he is high on points and blocks. He helped turned the Magic back into contenders as the team began to build around him. Howard has become one of the elite franchise players in the NBA with a truly bright future.

Shaquille O'Neal was one of Magic’s first superstars in his four seasons with Orlando, instantly turning the team into contenders and giving them an identity. He averaged almost 30 points per game in 1994-95 when Orlando made it to the Finals, although ultimately losing out to the Houston Rockets.

Penny Hardaway who played for the Magic between 1993 and 1999 was an unconventionally tall point guard. He played a key part in the very “magical” 1994-95 season when the Magic won a franchise record 57 games,

Point guard Darrell Armstrong became a key player in the years 1995-2003, coming to attention in the 1998-99 season when he won both the sixth Man of the Year and the Most Improved Player.

 

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