Although the Orlando Magic franchise is young compared to others, this team has had enough legends to go around. The Orlando Magic All-Time team doesn’t compare to rosters such as the Los Angeles Lakers or the Boston Celtics, but it’s no joke. Many players have come and gone, and many haven’t stayed long, but the Magic still have a few dominant players in their history books. And with today’s game becoming more position-less, some players on this roster have been moved to fit the team accordingly.
The Starting Five
PG – Penny Hardaway
Penny Hardaway, otherwise known as Anfernee Hardaway, was one of the young sensations for the Magic in its beginning years. Paired with dominant big man Shaquille O’Neal, the duo could’ve reached bigger heights. Listed at 6’7″, Hardaway was one of the biggest at his position, and it paid off. He put up 15.2 points, 5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals. Although those aren’t the most impressive numbers, Hardaway was a game-changer. Being that tall at the point guard position allowed him to take advantage of the defense. Being that tall also helped his partner in crime O’Neal feast every night. Hardaway was a key edition to the Magic team that made it to the 1995 NBA Finals.
SG – Nick Anderson
Another 1990’s Magic stud. Nick Anderson played alongside O’Neal and Hardaway when the Magic made their NBA Finals appearance in 1995. Anderson was never an All-Star with the Magic, nor in his entire career, but was still a great player. He contributed to knocking the Chicago Bulls out of the playoffs the year Michael Jordan came back for retirement by stealing the ball from Jordan himself. Anderson averaged 15.4 points, 2.8 assists, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Anderson’s defensive skills and the ability to spread the floor later on in his day’s with the Magic led to him being considered a great asset for the team.
SF – Tracy McGrady
Tracy McGrady was one of the greatest scoring machines the league has ever seen. There’s a reason why McGrady scored 13 points in only 35 seconds. McGrady was a 6’8″ high-flying athletic monster who could run the floor and put up massive amounts of points for the Magic. He was an All-Star in all four years with the Magic. He put up a cool 28.1 points per game, along with 5.2 assists, 7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Just like Hardaway, McGrady was on the taller side for his position. McGrady had his best years with the Magic, as in the 2002-03 NBA season, he averaged a career-high 32.1 points. McGrady finished fourth in the MVP race that year.
PF – Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard is arguably the most important player in Magic history, and rightfully so. Howard was a six-time All-Star during his days in Orlando. He racked up three Defensive Player of the Year awards and led the team to the 2009 NBA Finals. He was the youngest player to ever win a Defensive Player of the Year award. In his time with the Magic, he averaged 18.4 points and 13 rebounds, with 2.2 blocks. Although his points per game average could’ve been improved, the advanced statistics show how crucial he was. Howard leads the franchise with a VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) statistic of 30.1. He also leads the franchise in Offensive Win Shares with 40.5, Defensive Win Shares with 47.0, and Overall Win Shares with 87.5. Along with all those statistics, he leads the franchise in true shooting percentage with 60.1. Howard also boasts a 98.1 defensive rating. It’s safe to say that Howard produced a lot of quality minutes for the Magic.
C – Shaquille O’Neal
O’Neal was arguably the most unstoppable player of all-time. O’Neal was an All-Star for all four years with the Magic. He averaged 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks. O’Neal came out of the locker room every game and played on the highest level. Before leaving the Magic to go to the Lakers, O’Neal garnered respect from the greatest of players around the league. O’Neal led the Magic to the NBA finals in the 1995 NBA playoffs but fell short to the Houston Rockets. O’Neal and Howard are the best big man duo possible for the Orlando Magic all-time team.
PG – Jameer Nelson
Jameer Nelson played on the Magic for 10 seasons. He played through his entire prime in Orlando. He was also an All-Star alongside Howard in the 2008-09 season where they made their NBA Finals run. Nelson averaged 12.6 points, 5.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1 steal. Although these numbers don’t jump out as superstar caliber numbers, Nelson was a great player for the Magic. He produced quality numbers in a quality role for them.
SG – Dennis Scott
Dennis Scott was another player in the 1990’s era that was a great addition to the franchise in it’s beginning years. Although Scott never made an All-Star team, he was still a quality player for the Magic. He averaged 14.8 points and 1 steal. His three-point percentage was an outstanding 40.3 percent, which was a big help for Hardaway and O’Neal. Whenever they needed to kick the ball out for a bucket, Scott made the defense pay.
SF – Grant Hill
Grant Hill was a very interesting player for the Magic. Hill was a five-time All-Star coming into the Magic organization, and the whole city had high hopes for him. Despite this, he underperformed to many people’s expectations. Hill was still a great player for the Magic but was underwhelming because of injuries. He ended up missing the entire 2003-04 NBA season due to his injury. Hill blames the Detroit Piston‘s medical staff for misdiagnosing his ankle injury that led to the eventual downfall of his career. Regardless, Hill was still a two-time All-Star with the Magic, one of those years having played only four games. In his time in Orlando, he averaged 16.4 points, 3.1 assists, and 5 rebounds.
PF – Rashard Lewis
Rashard Lewis is another great addition to this all-time roster. Although Lewis only played four seasons with the Magic, he was still a quality player. In his time with the Magic, Lewis made the All-Star team one time. He averaged 16.3 points, 2.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals. For a power-forward, anyone averaging over 1 steal a game is impressive. Lewis spent the last of his prime days with the Magic, as after he left, his numbers started to dwindle.
C – Horace Grant
Horace Grant is most remembered for his time winning championships with Scottie Pippen, Jordan, and the Bulls. But Grant produced great numbers for the Magic and was a great asset for them in the mid-1990s. Grant was a hard worker and was a great rebounder and defender. He averaged 11.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1 steal and block. Grant was the perfect player to play behind O’Neal because the team still got quality production down low without their superstar on the floor.
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