Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

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Orlando Magic Team History

The Orlando Magic franchise was founded in 1989 as an expansion franchise. The team name was chosen after a contest in the local newspaper brought in several name suggestions, among which was the “Magic,” which was selected for the impact that Walt Disney World has on the Orlando region. The Magic are the first major league professional sports team in the Orlando area, and the team has seen a good amount of success in reaching the postseason but is still looking for its first NBA championship.

Orlando Magic Championships

In their 30 years of existence, the Orlando Magic have made the postseason 15 times, but have yet to win the title. In 1994, led by the duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway, the Magic won 50 games and made the postseason for the first time but saw their playoffs journey come to an end with a 3-0 sweep in the first round at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. The Magic would return to the postseason the following year and advance to the NBA Finals but would fall to the Houston Rockets in a four-game sweep. The Magic would return to the Finals for the second time in franchise history in 2009 led by Dwight Howard after upsetting the defending champion Boston Celtics and heavily favored Cleveland Cavaliers on the way to a date with the Los Angeles Lakers. Orlando would win their first-ever Finals game in the series but would ultimately lose in five games to the Lakers.

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Orlando Magic Famous Players and Hall of Famers

Shaquille O’Neal may be best known for his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the enigmatic big man got his start in Orlando, playing with the Magic from 1992 to 1996, earning four of his 15 NBA All-Star Team nods during his time in Orlando. Teamed up with Penny Hardaway, O’Neal helped lead the Magic to their first Finals appearance, and many fans wonder just how far the duo could have taken the franchise had O’Neal not left for the Lakers.

Penny Hardaway shined brightest during his time with Orlando Magic, earning for trips to the NBA All-Star Game and two selections to the All-NBA First Time. Injuries would derail his career, but Hardaway still has his name on several franchise records, including eighth in points scored (7,018), fourth in assists (2,343), and third in steals (718).

After the Shaquille O’Neal-Penny Hardaway era, Dwight Howard helped usher in a new period of success for the Orlando Magic. Howard starred on the Magic from 2004 to 2012 and was named an All-Star eight times, with six of those coming as a Magic. In his prime, Howard was feared as a defensive stalwart, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award three years in a row from 2009 to 2011. Howard also holds several franchise records, including most regular-season points scored (11,435), rebounds (8,072), and blocks (1,344).

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