At a news conference on the Amway Center court Friday morning, the Orlando Magic announced that they will honor Nick Anderson with a special ceremony on Friday, November 8th, during the Magic's game against the Boston Celtics. The Magic also announced they will open their own Hall of Fame on the concourse of Amway Center.
The first player Orlando will honor in its 25th NBA season is Tracy McGrady, whom the team will recognize between the first and second quarters of Friday's home opener against the New Orleans Pelicans. The team will honor key figures, mostly players, from its history on select Friday home games throughout the season.
The Magic made Anderson, 45, the 11th overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft; he thus owns the distinction of being the first Draft pick in team history. Anderson went on to distinguish himself as an outstanding complement to Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O'Neal and ultimately spent 10 seasons in an Orlando uniform. Though he never earned an NBA All-Star appearance or a selection to an All-NBA team, Anderson is nonetheless a key figure in Magic history. He remains involved with the team as a Community Ambassador.
The Chicago native also made arguably the greatest play in team history when he stripped Michael Jordan from behind in the first game of the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals. With Orlando trailing the Chicago Bulls by a point and 18 seconds to play, Anderson poked the ball away and recovered it, and then advanced it to Hardaway, who dished to Horace Grant for the go-ahead slam. Orlando would go on to upset Jordan's Bulls in the series and advance to its first NBA Finals.