Quick Intro: Orlando Magic History
Heading to an Orlando Magic game, and need a quick intro into Orlando Magic history? Though the team has not been around for a very long time, a lot has happened in Orlando Magic history. They have been the most successful of all the NBA teams added in the late '80s.
The team was one of four expansion teams in the 1988-1989 season, along with the Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Charlotte Hornets. The team did not make many waves its first few years but in the 1992 draft they made the most important decision in Orlando Magic history when they took Shaquille O’Neal with the number one overall selection. In his first season the team improved by twenty games over the previous season. O’Neal was voted Rookie of the Year and selected to start in the All-Star game.
The next season another important event happened in Orlando Magic history when they traded for rookie Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway on draft day. Within two years the Hardaway/O’Neal combination led the Magic through the playoffs (over the Celtics, Bulls and Pacers) and to the NBA finals, where they were eventually swept by the Houston Rockets.
After the 1995-96 season O’Neal—the best player in Orlando Magic history—left via free agency to the Los Angeles Lakers. The team did not have much success in the years following O’Neal’s departure.
In the 2004 draft the franchise took high schooler Dwight Howard with the first overall pick, another important draft-day move in Orlando Magic history.
In the 2008-09 season the Magic again advanced to the finals, despite losing all-star point guard Jameer Nelson to injury earlier in the season. The team enjoyed the first victory in the NBA finals in Orlando Magic history in game three over the Lakers, but ultimately lost the series in five games.
Stewart, Mark. “The Orlando Magic.” 2009. Norwood House Press.