One of the biggest takeaways from the Orlando Magic's introduction of free-agent signee Chris Duhon last week is that they let Duhon wear no. 25, which Nick Anderson, the team's first-ever draft pick and career leader in points scored, wore during his 12 seasons with the franchise. And I'm not the only one whom that news puzzled. "[I]t bothered me a little," Schmitz writes, so he caught up with Anderson, now a Magic community ambassador, to discuss Duhon's choice in jersey fashion.
Of course, this is the whole other part of the story, touchier for Anderson than even the simple unfurling of a basketball jersey. "I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'd like it one day to be hanging in the rafters," he said.
I asked Anderson if he is resigned to the fact that if the Magic haven't retired it now, they never will. "I have….I don't think it will be done," he said, matter of factly.
At least No. 25 is in play and seeing it keeps Anderson's memory alive. The guy who stole the ball from Michael Jordan will settle for that.
In separate posts last summer, Eddy and I agreed that the Magic ought to retire no. 25 to honor Anderson. In the poll attached to Eddy's post, 80% of respondents said that Anderson was a deserving candidate.
I don't think it'd kill the Magic to ask Duhon if he wouldn't mind taking a different number, and to subsequently set aside a date to retire Anderson's at the new Amway Center. He's done a lot for the team, and for its fans--who, as I noted, strongly believe he's earned the honor--so I don't see the harm in it.