Orlando Magic are a professional basketball
team based in Orlando, Florida. They play in the
Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of
the National Basketball Association (NBA) and are
currently coached by Stan Van Gundy. The franchise
was founded in 1989 as an expansion franchise and
has had such notable NBA stars as Shaquille O'Neal,
Penny Hardaway, Steve Francis, Grant Hill, Tracy
McGrady, Vince Carter, and Dwight Howard throughout
its young history. The franchise has also been in
the playoffs for more than half of their existence
(11 playoff appearances in 20 years).
Team colors: Blue, black, white,
2006 - 2010: Back to the playoffs and
NBA finals for Orlando Magic
With the 11th
pick in the NBA Draft the Orlando Magic took the
former Duke star J. J. Redick. Even with the fan support
to get him playing time he averaged just over 11 minutes
a game. After beginning the season strong with a 13–4 record,
the Orlando Magic began to suffer in the standings as the
result of multiple losses, due in large part to the injuries
of Tony Battie, Keyon Dooling, and Grant Hill. The Magic
were also hampered with the sporadic play of many of their
young stars, who on multiple occasions showed their propensity
for streaky shooting and the team's lack of a solid scoring
two-guard. Despite the team's poor play, Dwight Howard continued
to develop and blossom in his third year in the league,
culminating in his first selection to the Eastern Conference
All-Star team. The final few weeks of the season saw the
Magic build momentum and confidence with an impressive late
push towards the Playoffs. On April 15, 2007, with an 88–86
victory over the Boston Celtics, the Magic secured its first
berth in the NBA Playoffs since 2003 by locking up the 8th
seed in the Eastern Conference. This marked the first time
that the team had made the playoffs while posting a losing
record. Nevertheless, their Playoff run ended on April 28,
2007 after they were swept in the first round by first seeded
Detroit Pistons whose experience, veteran leadership and
ability to consistently make the clutch basket proved far
too much for the undermanned and overwhelmed Magic to overcome.
It was announced on May 23, 2007, that Brian Hill had been
fired as head coach of the Magic.
On June 1, the
Orlando Magic signed Billy Donovan to be their head
coach for five years. The next day, Donovan wished to be
released from the contract and the Magic agreed several
days later. On June 6, 2007, the Magic signed a 4-year contract
with Stan Van Gundy. In the free agent market, the Magic
signed Rashard Lewis of the Seattle Super Sonics to a six-year
league-maximum contract believed to be worth over $110 million.
At the NBA China Games, the Magic swept the three games
in China, twice against the Cleveland Cavaliers and once
against the Chinese national team in games held in Shanghai
and in Macau.
On November 15, 2007, Bob Vander Weide,
the son-in-law of Richard DeVos, officially took over as
owner of the team, although ownership is still split evenly
amongst Richard DeVos' other children as well.
started the 2007–08 NBA season with an impressive 16–4 record
in their first 20 games, which included wins over the Boston
Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. Through the next few months,
the Magic were not so successful, splitting their next 36
games with 18 wins and 18 losses. At the start of March,
the Magic seemed to pick up speed again, finishing the month
with 10 wins, the first time since November that they won
10 or more in a month. The Magic clinched the Southeast
Division title when the Washington Wizards were routed at
Utah 129–87 on March 31, 2008. It was the Magic's third
division title, but only their first since 1995–96 season,
as well as their first since the Southeast Division was
formed. They also earned their 50th win of the season against
the Chicago Bulls on April 13, which had not happened since
the 1995–96 season. The Magic finished the regular season
52–30, their best season since 1995–96. With the 3rd seed
in the Eastern Conference, they were matched up in their
first round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors.
The Magic had home court advantage for the first time since
the 1998–99 season.
On April 28, 2008, at Amway Arena,
Orlando Magic eliminated the Raptors with a 4–1 series victory
in the first round. It was the first playoff series victory
for the Magic in 12 years after 6 straight first round exits.
The run of success didn't last long as they fell 4–1 to
the experienced Detroit Pistons in the second round. With
the Magic already down in the series, controversy erupted
after the Pistons' Game 2 victory. At the conclusion of
the 3rd quarter, Chauncey Billups of the Pistons made a
three point shot giving the Pistons a three point lead.
However, the clock had stopped just as the play began. NBA
rules prohibit officials from using instant replay or any
timing device to determine how much time has elapsed when
a clock malfunctions, nor is a replay allowed to be viewed
from the time of the malfunction to when the play ends,
when the game clock has not expired. Because of the rule,
the officials then estimated that the play took 4.6 seconds,
and because there were 5.1 seconds remaining when play began,
the field goal was allowed to be counted. The NBA later
admitted that the play actually took 5.7 seconds and the
basket in question should not have counted. The Pistons
went on to win Game 2. The Magic were able to win Game 3,
with the Pistons' Chauncey Billups out for most of the game
with an injury, but were unable to take advantage of his
absence and defeat the Pistons in Games 4 and 5, which ended
the Magic's playoff run in 2008.
The first half of
the 2008–09 season went very well for Orlando Magic.
After 41 games, the Magic were 33–8, leading the Southeast
Division, as well as having one of the top four records
in the league. At the start of February, Jameer Nelson,
their all-star starting point guard, went down with a shoulder
injury. He was expected to miss the remainder of the season.
After trading for Rafer Alston, the Magic finished the regular
season with a 59–23 record, it was the most games the team
had won in a season since the 1995–96 season in which they
had 60 wins. In the playoffs, the Magic beat the Philadelphia
76ers in the first round of the playoffs and then the defending
champions, the Boston Celtics, in the Eastern Conference
semifinals, behind assistant coach Patrick Ewing's guarantee
that they would win Game 7 of that series. In their first
conference finals since 1996, the Magic beat the Cleveland
Cavaliers, which were led by the season's MVP, LeBron James.
After dropping the first two games in the Finals against
the Los Angeles Lakers, the Magic finally won their first
ever game in the Finals in Game 3. Despite Nelson's return
to the team for the Finals, the Lakers won the series and
the championship by beating the Magic in five games.
In the 2009 offseason, Orlando traded Rafer Alston,
Tony Battie, and Courtney Lee to the New Jersey Nets in
exchange for eight-time All-Star Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson.
Hedo Türkoğlu, as part of a sign-and-trade, was sent to
the Toronto Raptors. They then made several free agent signings.
On July 10, former Dallas Mavericks power forward Brandon
Bass was given a 4-year deal. On July 21, the Magic
signed former Phoenix Suns Forward Matt Barnes. On August
19, they signed former Miami Heat point guard Jason Williams.
On September 28, 2009, Orlando extended the contract
of head coach Stan Van Gundy by exercising his option for
the 2010–11 season. They did the same for General Manager
Otis Smith, which would keep him in that position through
the 2011–12 season.
The Magic were without Rashard
Lewis for the first 10 games of the 2009–10 season. Lewis
tested positive for an elevated testosterone level that
was caused by an over-the-counter supplement containing
a substance banned by the league. To make matters worse,
Vince Carter suffered a left ankle injury in just the second
game of the season. Carter's injury turned out to be not
too serious, but caused him to miss the next five games.
Another setback came in mid-November, when Jameer Nelson
injured his left knee, which required arthroscopic surgery
to repair. Nelson would be out for five weeks. Despite all
of this, the Magic had a 23–8 record at the end of December.
Orlando lost seven of their first ten games in January,
but recovered well enough to post a winning record for the
month by winning six of their next seven. Following the
All-Star break, the Magic went on a roll, winning 23 of
their 28 remaining games, clinching their fourth consecutive
playoff berth and winning their third consecutive division
championship in the process. The Magic finished the regular
season with a 59–23 record, matching their record from the
2008–09 season, and finishing with not only the second-best
record in the Eastern Conference, but the second-best record
in the entire league. The Magic swept the Charlotte Bobcats
and the Atlanta Hawks in the first two rounds of the playoffs,
respectively. They then faced the Boston Celtics in the
conference finals. After losing the first three games of
the series, Orlando Magic managed to win the next
two games, but lost on the road in Game 6, ending their
2010 - present: New Arena, New Look
In anticipation of the team's move to
Amway Center, the
Magic updated its logo. They retained the streaking ball
logo, but changed the word mark taken from their current
uniforms. The Magic are scheduled to host the NBA All-Star
Game in 2012.
In the summer of 2010 the Orlando
Magic signed Chris Duhon, formerly of the New York Knicks,
and Quentin Richardson, formerly of the Miami Heat.