The Orlando Magic is an American basketball team located in Orlando, Florida. They are a member of the Eastern Conference Southeast Division of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, and Nikola Vuevi are just a few of the notable NBA players who have played for the team throughout its history. The team was founded in 1989 as an expansion franchise. In 32 seasons, the team has played in the NBA Playoffs 16 times, and in 1995 and 2009, it reached the NBA Finals twice. In terms of winning percentage and playoff success, Orlando has been second-most successful of the four expansion teams introduced into the league in 1988 and 1989, only after the Miami Heat. Let us take a look at the top 10 best players of Orlando Magic of all time.
Who is Orlando magic NBA’s best player of all time?
1. Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard was born on December 8, 1985. He is an American basketball player who most recently represented the Los Angeles Lakers. He has won the NBA championship, been selected to eight All-Star games, eight All-NBA teams, five times to the All-Defensive Team, and three times to the Defensive Player of the Year list. Howard attended Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy for his entire high school career. He chose to forgo college and joined the 2004 NBA draft. Further, Orlando Magic selected him after watching his performance.
Howard broke numerous team and league records with the team. In 2009, he helped the team to reach the NBA Finals. Howard spent eight years with Orlando. Then he moved to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012. He played for the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, and Washington Wizards after spending a year with the Lakers. In 2019 Howard rejoined the Lakers, and in 2020 he won his first NBA title.
2. Tracy McGrady
Tracy McGrady was born on May 24, 1979. He is a former basketball player from the United States. Further, he won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award in 2001. He was selected for seven NBA All-Star games, seven All-NBA teams, and two NBA scoring championships. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2017. Toronto Raptors selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft.
He left the Raptors in 2000 and signed with the Orlando Magic. There he became one of the league’s most prolific scorers and a contender for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. He moved to the Houston Rockets in 2004. After a brief career with the San Antonio Spurs and the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association, he retired in 2013.
3. Shaquille ONeal
Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born on 6 March 1972. He is a former professional basketball player from the United States who now works as a sports analyst for the network Inside the NBA. Further, he is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He has won four NBA championships. During his 19-year NBA career, he played for six different teams. O’Neal was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA draft after playing college basketball for the LSU Tigers. During 1992–1993 he was Rookie of the Year, and in 1995 he led his team to the NBA Finals.
O’Neal played for the Magic for four years before signing with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent. They won three straight championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002. O’Neal won his fourth NBA title in 2006 after being traded to the Miami Heat in 2004. He moved to the Phoenix Suns in the middle of the 2007–2008 season. In the 2009–10 season, he moved to the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending a season and a half with the Suns. He played for Boston Celtics in the 2010–11 season.
4. Penny Hardaway
Penny Hardaway was born on July 18, 1971. He is the head coach of the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team in the American Athletic Conference. Further, he is an American college basketball coach and former basketball player. He played college basketball at Memphis and 14 seasons in the NBA. He was a four-time NBA All-Star and a two-time member of the All-NBA First Team. In the 1993 NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors selected Hardaway with the third overall pick. Later on, he moved to the Orlando Magic. He made an impact on the league through his excellent performance. He won the MVP award at the inaugural Schick Rookie Game.
Hardaway assisted the Magic in achieving their first 50-win season and a first playoff berth. He ranked sixth in the league with 190 steals while averaging 16 points, 6.6 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game. On April 15, against the Boston Celtics, he notched the first triple-double of his career with 14 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds.
5. Hedo Turkoglu
Hedo Turkoglu was born on March 19, 1979. He is a former NBA player and executive in Turkish basketball. Throughout his 15-year NBA career, he played for six different teams. He played in the 2009 NBA Finals for the Magic and won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award for the 2007–08 season. He also played in international competitions for Turkey’s national team. Turkoglu joined the Orlando Magic in 2004. He received the NBA’s Most Improved Player award on April 28, 2008, for the 2007–2008 season He assisted the Magic in their first-time entry to the NBA Finals since 1995 during the 2008–09 season.
6. Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic was born on 24 October 1990. He is a Montenegrin-Belgian basketball player for the Chicago Bulls. Philadelphia 76ers selected him in the 16th round of the 2011 NBA draft. Prior to the start of the 2012–13 season, he moved to the Orlando Magic after spending his rookie year with the 76ers. He played nine seasons for the Magic and was an NBA All-Star twice during his playing career with the team. He was traded by the Magic to the Chicago Bulls in the middle of the 2020–21 campaign.
7. Jameer Nelson
Jameer Nelson was born on February 9, 1982. He is a former basketball player from the United States. He represented Saint Joseph’s Hawks in college basketball, where he won the 2004 National College Player of the Year title. Nelson, who was selected 20th overall in the NBA draft in 2004, played his first ten seasons with the Orlando Magic. He was selected as an All-Star in 2009, and he played for the Magic in the NBA Finals. Further, he has played for the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, and Dallas Mavericks.
8. Darrell Armstrong
Darrell Armstrong was born on June 22, 1968. He is a former American basketball player. Armstrong played for 14 seasons in the NBA. He is presently an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks, who won the championship in the 2010–11 season. Armstrong made his NBA debut for the Orlando Magic in late 1994–1995 as a free agent. He appeared in 13 games in 1995–1996 and scored 42 points overall. He took part in the Slam Dunk Competition in 1996.
9. Dennis Scott
Dennis Scott was born on September 5, 1968. He is a former NBA basketball player from the USA. Scott was the top scorer on a Yellow Jackets team. Further, Orlando Magic selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft.
10. Steve Francis
Steve Francis was born on February 21, 1977. He is a former NBA basketball player from the USA. He was chosen with the second overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft. Francis was co-NBA Rookie of the Year in his first season. While playing for the Houston Rockets, he was an NBA All-Star three times. Francis finished his career with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association after also playing for the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks.
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