The Orlando Magic held a special press conference Friday morning to kick off the home portion of their 25th-anniversary season. The event featured proclamations from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, as well as word from team CEO Alex Martins that the organization will honor Nick Anderson on November 8th.
But the top-line story is word from Martins that the team is opening its own Hall of Fame inside Amway Center.
"Beginning this year, we are going to institute the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame," Martins said from a podium on the Amway Center court. "The Orlando Magic Hall of Fame will honor former players, coaches, executives, and people who have been instrumental in the history of the Orlando Magic organization with a special commemoration on the main concourse--the terrace concourse--of the Amway Center."
Martins went on to say that the Hall of Fame is "our way to permanently recognize those who played an important role in the history of the Orlando Magic organization in perpetuity here at the Amway Center."
Of course, one way that some teams choose to permanently honor their great players is by retiring their jerseys. Martins said that Orlando has criteria for jersey-retirement, but that none of its players has met it.
"Jersey retirement for a player is the highest of honors for a franchise to celebrate players who, over the course of time, have made the most impact--not just on the team, but on the league," Martins said after the press conference. The Orlando Magic Hall of Fame is thus a way to honor players who made their mark in Orlando, but not on the NBA at large.
The team was "trying to find a way to recognize those people who have made an impact on our organization," Martins said, when the idea for a Hall of Fame came about. "The 25th anniversary really pushed us to try to find the right way to do that."
And so the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame was born, though the team has not yet revealed whom it will induct first. Martins said to expect announcements on that front later in the 25th anniversary season.