This NBA team was founded in 1989 and has grown to become one of the most famous teams in the league. They are currently in the South East division where they rival the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards, and the same state rivals Miami Heat. The team has had their fair share of great players and amazing teams but the organization has yet to bring a championship ring to the city.
The best team that Orlando has ever witnessed was created when the team drafted hall of fame center Shaquille O’neal. Shaq was the first pick in the 1992 draft and was able to completely turn the team into a playoff contender. The 7’1 center immediately made a difference for the team and even the league itself. After Shaq’s first year, the Magic were able to have a %500 win percentage and they won the NBA’s most improved team that season. Though the team was able to improve almost 20 wins compared to the last season, they still were not able to make it to the playoffs.
This is when the organization realized that they were missing one more superstar and when the team was able to acquire Anfernee Hardaway, the organization knew that they now have a legit combination in Shaq and Anfernee. With the amazing one two punch, they were then able to receive the first 50 win season in franchise history. In their very first playoff appearance, they were swept by the Pacers in the first round.
By the organization’s sixth season, they were able to make it to the NBA finals with the help of Forward Horace Grant. The newly revamped team was able to fight their way to the finals before they were swept by the Houston Rockets. One year later, they then were able to win 60 times, the first time in franchise history. As the team continued to get better, they were seeded number two that year, only second to the Chicago Bulls. They fell short once again in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the number one seed Chicago Bulls. After the 1996 season, they lost one of the best players of all time to the Los Angeles Lakers as Shaq packed his bag for California.
After only one playoff appearance after Shaq’s departure, the team then welcomed its prolific scorer Tracy Mcgrady. Tracy Mcgrady was able to take the team to the playoffs a few times, but injuries were what really held the All Star guard from taking the team to the finals.
By 2004 the Magic then drafted what many called “the next Shaq.” Dwight Howard is now the face of this team and has been able to take them to the finals in 2009. The team is now packed with amazing young talent and a classy point guard in Jameer Nelson. With great role players in Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, Stan Van Gundy might be able to lead this talented team to their first ring in franchise history.