Orlando Magic All Time Roster

STARTING LINEUP :

C. Shaquille O’Neal

P.F. Dwight Howard

S.F. Tracy McGrady

S.G. Anfernee Hardaway

P.G. Scott Skiles

BENCH :

C. Rony Seikaly

P.F. Horace Grant

S.F. Dennis Scott

S.G. Nick Anderson

P.G. Darrell Armstrong

P.G. Jameer Nelson

P.F. Bo Outlaw

 

CENTERS :

At center I picked Shaquille O’Neal. Easy choice as he’s the best player that ever played in that franchise. His departure in 1996 was terrible for the entire city of Orlando and he was heavy criticized for it… As a matter of fact the Lakers were clearly not as talented on paper and Shaq obviously chose to play in LA to have an opportunity to make movies and music albums. It was quite a good choice after all though since a young rookie that arrived that same year in the NBA, and became his teammate, became one of the best player ever, this player was named Kobe Bryant. And Jerry West did a fantastic job to surround the two stars with great teammates. And Shaq led the Lakers to three rings in a row in the early 2000’s. It’s hard to say what would have happened if Shaq decided to stay in Orlando in that 1996 summer, but I personnaly am 100 % sure that the Magic would have won AT LEAST their first ring in their history. Yeah 1996 is definitely the worst year of their short history…

 

His back up has to be Rony Seikaly. Rony was not a star but he was a very good player, and he had some of the best years of his career in Orlando. He’s the one that the Magic picked to replace Shaq in 96 and many people were surprised to see him play that well that year. I was one of them. He wasn’t Shaq, that’s for sure, but he did a fine job to help what had now become Penny’s team.

 

POWER FORWARDS :

At PF I picked Dwight Howard. Yeah I know that Howard plays center right now but he definitely can play PF. Not only that but Poward Forward is in fact his natural position, even if he has become a true center now. So he’s the obvious choice here.

 

As his back up I picked Horace Grant. The man who allowed the Magic to win their first NBA playoffs round. As a matter a fact Grant’s arrival in 1993 had a huge impact on Orlando, he brought all his experience to that young team and they became immeditaly better thanks to him. Not only he allowed them to win the first round of the playoffs but in fact he even allowed them to make the Finals. A fantastic season for Orlando. And for Grant. Who had a fantastic opportunity to have his revenge on the Bulls, and in particular the two Jerrys (Krause and Reinsdorf, especially Krause..) and certainly took that opportunity. It’s pure speculation on my part but I’m sure that, to this day, this Magic-Bulls series, when the Magic beat the Bulls with Jordan (even if he wasn’t back to his best, and the Bulls didn’t have anyone inside…) is his favorite part of his career. His happyness at the end of it was great to see. Fantastic player, one of my personal favorites.

 

SMALL FORWARDS :

At SF I picked Tracy McGrady. McGrady had some absolutely fantastic years in Orlando, definitely the best years of his career. Too bad he didn’t have more help at the time… And especially that Grant Hill never got back from the ankle injury he had in his last days in Detroit. That team could have accomplished some great things… Well we’ll never know.

 

As his back up I picked Dennis Scott, Shaquille’s best friend during his Magic days. 3D is not the best player ever but he was a very good scorer and shooter, especially from behind the arc. And he was a Magic for most of his career, in fact he arrived in Orlando in the Magic’s second season, and was the starting SF of the 94/95 and 95/96 Magic team, probably even to these days the two best Magic teams ever.

 

SHOOTING GUARDS :

At SG I picked Anfernee Hardaway. Yeah Penny was a PG in his first years in the league but he became a SG after Shaq’s departure and played at this position for the remaining of his career. Besides I wanted to have Skyles, Armstrong and Nelson in that roster, and three PGs is quite enough… That’s why I chose to have T-Mac at SF and Penny at SG. Anyway Anfernee is certainly the second best Magic player ever. Fantastic player, amazing talent… When he arrived in the league most people considered him as the new Jordan or Magic… He was my favorite PG at the time and could have been one of the greatest player ever. Unfortunately, as many other great talents, his career was ruined by injuries. He still deserves to be in the starting lineup of the Magic roster.

 

As his back up I picked Nick Anderson. AKA Nick the Brick… Not a nickname he’s proud of I’m sure but he sadly « earned » it fair and square. That’s right Nick will always first be remembered as the player who missed four free throws in a row at the end of the game 1 of the 95 Finals. One of them… If only he made at least ONE of those four free throws the Magic would have won the game… And that could have changed many things. But he did miss them all alright. And gave the opportunity to Kenny Smith to hit a three pointers to tie the game and send the two teams in overtime. Which Kenny did. And at the same time made his 7th three pointer in the game, which broke an NBA record. So he deserves this nickname indeed but it’s not totally fair at the same time that Nick will be remembered for that. Cause he was also a very good player. Good slasher, good shooter, good dunker, good defender (he did a great job against Jordan in the 95 semis for example, he even pissed off the master by saying that Jordan was easier to defend on than before his retirement, which caused Jordan to get his old number back, the number 23, to prove that he was still the same Jordan, which he did but only the following year, in 95 Nick clearly won his mind games with the master..) he was very talented and he was also in a way the face of the Magic as he arrived in the league the same year the Magic was founded, and so became one of the very first Magic players and remains in Orlando for most of his career, his first ten years in the league to be exact. He has to be in that roster.

 

POINT GUARDS :

At PG I picked Scott Skiles. Scott was the Magic’s first sixth man ever until he eventually became the starting PG. He played in Orlando for the first five years of the franchise and had the best years of his career there. It’s as a Magic, in 1990, that Scott broke the NBA record for most assist in a game ever, with 30 assists. Records that hasn’t been broken yet. He was a very good player and definitely deserves to start in that roster IMO. The only reason why the Magic eventually decided to trade him was because of the arrival of Penny in 93, Anfernee was a PG at the time and both players couldn’t start… Skiles was also a huge college star with Michigan State.

 

As his back up I chose the excellent Darrell Armstrong. The first time I heard about this player was when he played in Europe, in Spain to be exact, with the Ourense Baloncesto. I immediately noticed this very exciting player and hoped that one day he would join the NBA. I remember a slam dunk contest in particular (in 94 or 95) that Darrell won with some amazing dunks. One of the best contests I ever saw, there was also a player (I don’t remember his name) who put the ball on fire before dunking it. Yeah a great dunk contest… Anyway that’s why I was particularly happy when I heard that Armstrong joined the NBA in 95. And I wasn’t disappointed. Well except during the dunk contests, Darrell’s dunks were not even close to what he did in Spain.. But anyway whatever he had a wonderful career in Orlando, after some tough beginnings though, and was even the most exciting player to watch after Shaq left the team and Penny started to get injured all the time.. The best moment of his career was the 1999/2000 season when he became a starter for the first time and even had a chance to show what he could do as the leader of the team. On paper this team was far from being great… That’s the least we could say and most people thought that they would be one of the worst teams of the year. Well the exact opposite happened, and thanks to Darrell’s amazing season and Doc Rivers coaching (his first year as a coach) the Magic were the biggest surprise of the year and actually had a chance to even make the playoffs (despite the fact they had no star) until the very last game. They didn’t make it unfortunately but that’s a season that no basketball fan, and I suppose especially Magic fan will ever forget. Darrell defintely deserves to be in the roster first thanks to this amazing season. He had some very good years with T-Mac and Mike Miller after that.

 

11th and 12th SPOTS :

For the last two spots I picked Jameer Nelson and Bo Outlaw. Jameer Nelson is not a top five PG but he’s still a very good PG nonetheless and definitely one of the main reasons why he Magic has had some success those past years. He deserves to be in that roster.

 

As for Charles Outlaw, well he was not the most talented player ever and many other Magic players were more talented than he was but I still picked him because of his importance in his Magic days, especially during the 99/2000 season which I already talked about above. He was a great hustler, a Rodman like player (even if he was definitely not as good as Rodman though..). I’ve always liked this player a lot, the kind of player that do all the things that make his team wins.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: