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Goldstone’s Top 30 players in Orlando Magic history: 1-10

In the final edition of a three part series, Aaron runs down some of the most decorated players in franchise history

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics, Game 4 Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic will be celebrating their 30th Anniversary as a member of the National Basketball Association during the upcoming 2018-2019 season.

Some festivities have already started to begin. The organization revealed last month that the team will be periodically wearing their “iconic, legendary, classic” blue pinstriped uniforms next season. Of course, these uniforms were sported by some of Orlando’s most iconic players in the 1990’s. The Magic also unveiled a new commemorative 30th anniversary logo for next year.

Here at Orlando Pinstriped Post, we thought there was no better time than now to do our part in celebrating the Orlando Magic franchise’s thirty year history. It’s a history that has seen a lot of “up’s”. But early on, and especially in the last six years, the organization has also experienced a lot of “downs”.

As I began to embark on this task of ranking Orlando’s all-time great contributors, I came across some bumps in the road.

How do I compare the numbers put up by role players that played on some of Orlando’s greatest teams with guys that contributed (often in larger roles) amidst losing seasons? Also, how do I account for how much the game has changed in the NBA in the last thirty years (more of a premium on outside shooting, pace, etc.)?

It wasn’t easy; I often felt like I was comparing apples to oranges, so to speak. Some guys won in Orlando, many lost. Some guys were in town for just a couple seasons, others played the majority of their careers for the Magic.

As a general guideline, I tried to set a baseline of 120 games as a minimum that someone would have to play as a member of the Magic to qualify for this list. For example, I did not include Vince Carter (even though he’s a hall of fame player, and arguably the best player to ever come out of Central Florida). Carter is a legend, but for me, he didn’t spend enough time in Orlando to make sense for this activity.

So without further explanation, enjoy this trip down memory lane as I run-down the final ten players (1-10) that I’ve ranked as the best in franchise history. You can find the first two articles with players 21-30 and 11-20 here.

I also highly recommend checking out Mike Cali’s recent article which profiles Orlando’s Top-30 games in team history.

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics, Game 3 Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

10. Rashard Lewis

4 seasons in Orlando, 257 games
16.3 PTS, 5.1 REB, 2.1 AST, 40% 3PT%

Lewis, who was recognized as an All-Star while playing for the Magic during the ‘08-’09 season, would probably be higher on this list if not for his somewhat shorter stay in Orlando compared to some other guys ranked ahead of him.

Lewis was acquired by the Magic in the Summer of ‘07 in a sign-and-trade deal with the Seattle SuperSonics. Lewis, who was drafted by the Sonics in the second round of the ‘98 NBA Draft directly out of high school, played nine seasons in Seattle before heading to Orlando. The six-year, $110 million dollar deal Lewis agreed to with the Magic was viewed by some as an overpay, but Lewis proved in the short-term that he was the missing piece in Orlando that solidified their roster.

In fact, Stan Van Gundy convincing “Sweet Lew” to play the “stretch” power forward (he primarily played small forward in Seattle) position in Orlando led to the formation of one of the first NBA spread offenses that are now so commonly found around the league.

Lewis was huge for the Magic in 2009, scoring 17.7 points per game while shooting just under 40% from behind the arc (2.8 3PTM’s per/g). In 14 playoff games in ‘09, Lewis stepped his game up to another level, posting 19.0 points per game while pulling down 6.4 rebounds (39% 3PT%).

Lewis suffered from right knee tendinitis late in the ‘09 season. The Houston-native was suspended by the NBA for taking a banned substance which caused him to fail multiple drug tests during the ‘08-’09 season (his testosterone levels were elevated). Lewis returned to the Magic after a ten-game suspension in ‘09-’10, but was never really the same player. The Magic traded Lewis in December of 2010 to the Washington Wizard for Gilbert Arenas.

Lewis is fifth all-time in Orlando Magic history with 658 made three-point field goals. He also ranks sixth all-time in three-point percentage, eighth in career points per game, seventh in true shooting percentage, sixth in both offensive box plus/minus and overall box plus/minus, and ninth in win shares per/48 minutes.


9. Horace Grant

7 seasons in Orlando, 411 games played
11.3 PTS, 8.2 REB, 2.1 AST, 50% FG%

Grant’s numbers with the Magic may not be as strong as the guy who is ranked just after him on this list (Lewis), I realize that. But for me, Horace Grant’s legacy with the Magic is about more than numbers. The winning attitude and experience he brought to the franchise, his professionalism, the goggles. Grant was an enforcer in Orlando, an iconic one at that.

Grant came to the Magic at 29 years of age, already a three-time NBA champion after playing the first seven years of his career for the Chicago Bulls. Grant was a two-time All-NBA defender in Chicago, a distinction he would be recognized with two more times while playing for the Magic (‘94-’95 and ‘95-’96).

The Magic, in their fifth season as an NBA organization, made the playoffs in ‘94 (the season before acquiring Grant) but were swiftly swept by the Indiana Pacers in the first round. Bringing in Horace Grant to complete a starting lineup that already featured Shaquille O’Neal, Anfernee Hardaway, Nick Anderson, and Dennis Scott, turned out to be that final needed piece of Orlando’s puzzle that helped vault the Magic to the top of the Eastern Conference.

The Magic won 57 games in Grant’s first year with the organization, and marched all the way to the NBA Finals. Grant played 41 minutes per game during Orlando’s 21-game playoff run in ‘95, averaging a double-double for the Magic (13.7 points, 10.4 rebounds). The Magic would’ve never made it to the Finals without Grant. The veteran came up especially huge in Orlando’s second round match-up with his former team, the Bulls, in ‘95. The Georgia-native helped the Magic down Michael Jordan and the Bulls in six games (Grant posted 20 or more points three times in the series, pulled down 10+ rebounds four times in the series).

After five seasons in Orlando (four playoff appearances, although he missed the ‘96-’97 playoffs due to injury), Grant was traded in June of ‘99 to the Seattle SuperSonics. In the Summer of ‘01, the then 36-year old Grant re-signed with the Magic for two more years (81 games played over two seasons) before finishing his career in Los Angeles playing for the Lakers.

Grant’s presence is felt all over many of Orlando’s all-time leader-boards. The Clemson product ranks in the top-10 in Orlando history in the following categories: games played (8th), minutes played (sixth), offensive rebounds (4th), defensive rebounds and total rebounds (5th), steals (8th), blocks (4th), field goal percentage (4th), rebounds per game (5th), blocks per game (8th), offensive rating (5th), win shares (7th), defensive box plus/minus (6th) and box plus/minus (9th), and overall value over replacement player (8th).

Brian Shaw

8. Dennis Scott

7 seasons in Orlando, 446 games played
14.8 PTS, 3.1 REB, 2.3 AST, 40% 3PT%

Scott, who was an All-American at Georgia Tech (averaged 27.7 points per game his junior season), was drafted by the Magic fourth overall in the 1990 NBA Draft. “3-D” played ten seasons in the NBA, the first seven of them spent in Orlando (446 games, 322 starts). The ‘91 All-Rookie selection was on the floor to provide one thing for the Magic: shooting.

As soon as Scott pulled into the parking lot of the old O-Rena, he was in range and ready to let it fly. Scott finished in the top-5 in the NBA in three-point makes (‘91, ‘94, ‘96) and attempts (‘91, ‘94, ‘96) on three separate occasions for the Magic. His 267 three-point makes in ‘95-’96 led the league (42.5%).

Scott played 37.1 minutes per game during the ‘95-’96 season (82 starts), a year that saw the Magic win a franchise record 60 games. One of Scott’s most memorable moments while playing in pinstripes came in April of that ‘96 season against the Atlanta Hawks. Scott connected on a then-NBA record 11 three point field goals (11-17 3PT in the contest).

Arguably the best long-range shooter in Magic history, Scott ranks first all-time in Magic history with 981 made three-point field goals. The Maryland-native is seventh in Magic history in games played, eighth in minutes played, tenth in assists, seventh in steals, eighth in total points, fourth in three-point percentage, and eighth in offensive box plus/minus.

Orlando Magic v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

7. Hedo Turkoglu

8 seasons in Orlando, 497 games played
14.5 PTS, 4.5 REB. 3.9 AST

Over half of Hedo Turkoglu’s 15 NBA seasons (and his best ones at that) came while playing for the Magic. Turkoglu was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the first round (16th overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft. Turkoglu came over from Turkey to the NBA right away, playing for the Kings from ‘00-’03. He was an integral part of Sacramento’s success coming mostly off the bench, as the Kings played deep into the playoffs in each of Turkoglu’s first three professional seasons.

In the Summer of ‘04, Turkoglu signed a six-year, $36 million dollar contract with the Magic. Turkoglu came off the bench for the Magic initially, but it didn’t take long before he became the starting small forward in Orlando (from ‘05-’09). Turkoglu flourished in Stan Van Gundy’s offensive system, one that allowed him to initiate pick-and-roll offense, create mismatches against bigger defenders off the dribble, play in the post against smaller wing defenders, and have the ball in his hands at the end of games. Turkoglu was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2008. In ‘07-’08, Turkoglu averaged a career high 19.5 points per game, as well as career highs in rebounds (5.7) and assists (5.0) per game.

Turkoglu has been right in the thick of some of the most memorable finishes in Orlando Magic history, including game winning shots to down the Sonics, Bulls, Blazers, Celtics, and Sixers (First Round - Game 4, ‘09). And who could forget his inbound pass to Dwight Howard with 0.8 seconds remaining to beat the Spurs in ‘07? “Turk” certainly had a flair for the dramatic.

Turkoglu opted-out of the final year of his contract with the Magic in July of ‘09. Orlando traded him to the Toronto Raptors, and then interestingly enough - reacquired the versatile forward just seventeen months later (Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat were sent to Phoenix, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark made their way to Orlando along with Turkoglu).

Turkoglu’s name sits among many of Orlando’s truly elite players in franchise history. He ranks 6th all-time in Orlando history in games played, 8th in made field goals, 4th in three-point field goals made, 6th in made free throws, 6th in total rebounds, 6th in total assists, 9th in total steals, 6th in total points, 9th in win shares, and 9th in total value over a replacement player.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Orlando Magic Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

6. Jameer Nelson

10 seasons in Orlando, 651 games played
12.6 PTS, 5.4 assists, 3.1 REB

After selecting Dwight Howard with the first pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, the Magic traded a future pick to get back into the first round. Nelson, who was an All-American his senior year at Saint Joeseph’s, fell all the way to the 20th pick (where the Magic scooped him up after agreeing to a deal with the Denver Nuggets).

Nelson saw the floor right away for the Magic, and became the franchise’s regular starting point guard by the end of his second season with the organization. Nelson would go on to start over 550 games in Orlando over the course of a decade he donned pinstripes.

Nelson was selected to one All-Star team during his Orlando tenure, and that appearance came during the ‘08-’09 season. Nelson was playing the best basketball of his career before a right shoulder injury derailed his season. It was in early February of ‘09 that Nelson went down, and at that point the Magic had won 36 of their first 46 games (Nelson was shooting a blistering 45% from 3PT, 61% TS% for the season).

Of course, the Magic traded for Rafer Alston that season, and he was somewhat of a savior in Orlando until the NBA Finals. Alston wasn’t hitting shots, and the Magic decided to try and bring Nelson back into the mix (18 MPG, 3.8 PTS, 2.8 AST). Nelson was a shell of himself against the Lakers; Orlando lost in five games, and Nelson’s lack of health in the Finals became one of the massive “what-if’s” for Magic fans ever since. Nelson did come back in a big way in the ‘10 playoffs, averaging 19.0 points while shooting 39% from three-point distance.

The Chester, PA-native is the franchise’s all-time leader in total assists. Nelson trails only Nick Anderson in games played with the Magic. He finished his Magic career third all-time in franchise history in minutes played, fourth in made field goals, third in three-point field goals made, ninth in made free throws, ninth in total rebounds, fifth in total steals, fourth in total points, fifth in assists per game, third in assist percentage, sixth in win shares, and ninth in offensive box plus/minus.

Magic V Bulls

5. Nick Anderson

10 seasons in Orlando, 692 games played
15.4 PTS, 5.3 REB, 2.8 AST, 36% 3PT%

Anderson will forever be remembered in franchise history as the organization’s first draft pick. The Magic selected the Illinois product 11th in the 1989 NBA Draft. Anderson, who started at shooting guard in Orlando for over 560 games, can safely be called a pretty good first pick by the organization. Anderson was a solid contributor for a very long time in Orlando, scoring in double-figures in each of the ten seasons he played for the Magic (career high 19.9 points per game accomplished twice, both in ‘91-’92 and ‘92-’93).

The Chicago native was the ultimate team player. He could score at will on any given night, he would take on the responsibility of guarding the other team’s best player, he was a solid rebounder for a wing, and he often sacrificed personal stats for team success (especially during they years Orlando also heavily featured Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway). Anderson was the perfect fit alongside O’Neal and Hardaway; he could space the floor and play off O’Neal (who was regularly double-teamed), while also providing enough space for Hardaway to operate off the dribble or in the post against smaller guards.

Anderson cracks the top-5 on this list because he was that type of player for the organization. He was never an elite NBA All-Star like some of the guys who will be slotted just ahead of him were, but Anderson has consistency, reliability, and longevity with the organization on his side. He will forever be remembered, for better or worse, for the four free throws he missed against the Rockets in the ‘95 NBA Finals (Game 1). That moment has come to define Anderson’s career in the eyes of many, it was his Bill Buckner moment.

But it doesn’t for me (he had 22 points and 11 rebounds in the game, by the way). I recognize that the Magic would have never even been in that position without Anderson’s contributions: in that game, in those playoffs, in that season, and over the years that it took to get the organization from an expansion team to an NBA Finals team. In my eyes, Anderson will forever be an all-time Magic great who deserves to be in the same conversation as Shaq, Dwight, Penny, and Tracy McGrady.

No one player has ever worn the pinstripes in an NBA game more often than Anderson (record 692 games played). He is second all-time in Orlando Magic history in minutes played, first in made field goals, second in made three-point field goals, fourth in made free throws, fourth in total rebounds, fifth in total assists, first in total steals, second in total points, fifth in steals per game, second in win shares, third in value over a replacement player, seventh in steal percentage, and tenth in box plus/minus.

Penny Hardaway

4. Anfernee Hardaway

6 seasons in Orlando, 369 games played
19.0 PTS, 6.3 REB, 4.7 REB

“Penny”, who was an All-American at the University of Memphis (then Memphis State), came to the Magic as part of one of the biggest draft-day trades in NBA history. Orlando went 41-41 in ‘92-’93, which left the organization tied with the Indiana Pacers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference that season. Due to a tie-breaker, the Pacers got the playoff nod, and the Magic were sent to the lottery. This would prove to be one of the truly magical moments in the franchise’s history.

Orlando incredibly won the draft lottery despite having the worst odds, and went on to select decorated forward Chris Webber with the first overall pick in the ‘93 draft. For a few moments, Magic fans were envisioning a front-court twin-towers look of O’Neal/Webber, but it was not meant to be. The Magic traded Webber to the Golden State Warriors for a lanky do-it-all point-forward from Memphis (and three future first round draft picks), and the rest is history.

Hardaway instantly became the team’s starting point guard, and combined with O’Neal to form one of the brightest young duos the league had ever seen. The Magic made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history during Hardaway’s rookie year, and then marched all the way to the NBA Finals in his second professional season. Hardaway was recognized as an NBA All-Star in ‘94-’95, a distinction he would garner for four consecutive seasons (‘95-’98).

Its hard to explain to young Magic fans that didn’t have a chance to watch “Penny” play how immensely talented he was. At 6-7, Hardaway had speed, athleticism, size to dominate smaller guards in the post, length to disrupt passing lanes on the defensive end, and incredible vision to find teammates that led to numerous jaw-dropping no-look passes. A three-time All-NBA performer, Hardaway dominated the NBA for a short stretch before various ankle and knee injuries began to derail his Hall of Fame-bound career.

Hardaway also had an ability to elevate his game to an even higher level when the Magic were in the playoffs. A career 31% three-point shooter, the Tennessee-native shot just under 40% from distance over 45 career playoff games with the organization. In the first round of the ‘97 NBA Playoffs, Hardaway turned in two of the more incredible performances in Magic history. Down 2-0 in the series to the Miami Heat, Hardaway put the team on his back and scored 83 combined points (42 and 41) in Games 3 and 4 to keep Orlando’s hopes alive (they ultimately lost that series in five games).

The Magic traded Hardaway to the Phoenix Suns in the summer of ‘99, he played eight more seasons in the NBA for three different franchises (Suns, New York Knicks, Miami Heat). The Memphis product is now back home leading the Tigers Men’s Basketball program. He ranks in the top-10 all-time in Magic history in the following categories: minutes played (7th), made field goals (7th), made free throws (5th), total rebounds (10th), total assists (4th), total steals (3rd), total points (7th), points per game (4th), assists per game (4th), steals per game (1st), PER (4th), assist percentage (8th), steal percentage (2nd), offensive rating (9th), win shares (5th), box plus/minus (4th), and value over a replacement player (4th). Man, “what if”...

Magic v Lakers Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

3. Tracy McGrady

4 seasons in Orlando, 295 games played
28.1 PTS, 7.0 REB, 5.2 AST

The end-results from some of the Tracy McGrady-led Magic teams of the early 2000’s weren’t up to par with other great teams in Magic history (although he did lead the Magic to three playoff berths). McGrady never took the Magic deep into the playoffs like some of the other Orlando greats did. But there is zero question about McGrady’s legacy in Orlando; he was individually one of the most dominant players in team history.

McGrady, who was drafted out of high school by the Toronto Raptors, was acquired through a sign-and-trade in August of 2000. In his first season with the Magic, “T-Mac” was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player (‘01). McGrady was a four-time all-star in four seasons with the Magic (‘01-’04); he was also named to four All-NBA teams (two First-Team selections, two Second-Team selections).

McGrady was the most gifted offensive player to ever suit it up for the Magic, he just flat-out got buckets. “T-Mac” averaged 20 or more points in a season eight different times in his career; four of those occasions came in consecutive years playing in Orlando. From ‘02-’04, there wasn’t a more prolific scorer in the league than McGrady (back-to-back league scoring champion).

The Magic traded McGrady to the Houston Rockets in June of 2004. The Central Florida-native was named an All-Star three more times in Houston before injuries began to take a toll on his body (back, knee). McGrady was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

The Magic gave McGrady an opportunity to make a name for himself in the NBA. In turn, McGrady delivered time-and-time again while in Orlando, keeping the franchise relevant despite injuries to other key players (namely Grant Hill). McGrady is the franchise’s all-time leader in points per game, offensive box plus/minus, and box plus/minus. He also sits in the top-10 all-time in Orlando franchise history in value over replacement player (2nd), win shares (4th), PER (2nd), steals per game (4th), assists per game (6th), assist percentage (9th), rebounds per game (6th), total points (3rd), total steals (6th), total assists (8th), total rebounds (8th), free throws made (2nd), field goals made (5th), and three-point field goals made (9th).

Shaquille O’’Neal

2. Shaquille O’Neal

4 seasons in Orlando, 295 games
27.2 PTS, 12.5 REB, 2.8 BLK

Man, this one was tough. I have to admit, going into this venture, I assumed I would finish the series with “Shaq” at the top of my list. I was eight years old when the Magic drafted the big man from LSU (he was a two-time All-American for the Tigers); I cried, because the Magic passed on who I really wanted them to take - Christian Laettner. Like I said, I was eight (don’t hold it against me).

In my late elementary/middle-school days, Shaq was a god in Central Florida. Wearing a #32 jersey with O’Neal on the back was as good as it got then. O’Neal was the franchise’s first superstar. He made people around the league pay attention to professional basketball in Orlando; he made the franchise relevant for the first time. “Shaq” was dominant right away in Orlando, averaging 23.4 points and 13.9 rebounds en route to the ‘93 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

O’Neal was chosen as an Eastern Conference All-Star starter in each of his first four seasons in the NBA. O’Neal led the league in scoring (29.3 points per game) in ‘94-’95 while finishing second in NBA MVP voting. O’Neal scored 20 or more points while pulling down 10 or more rebounds sixteen times in the ‘95 playoffs, helping lead the franchise to its first NBA Finals appearance.

O’Neal had the city (and the NBA world) in the palm of his hand. He had the fame, he had the running mate in Anfernee Hardaway. And in the summer of ‘96, all he needed to completely have it all was a new contract.

It just wasn’t meant to be. For me, O’Neal’s career with the Magic ended in the same fashion that it began - with tears (I know, I cry a lot). O’Neal went on to win four NBA Championships (three with the Lakers, one with the Heat) and three Finals MVP awards. He was also named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in ‘99-’00. None of those accomplishments that seemed all but guaranteed at one point to happen in Orlando occurred while O’Neal was wearing pinstripes.

There’s no doubt in my mind that if he stayed in Orlando for longer than four seasons, O’Neal would be number one on this list. But he left for greener pastures; he left for the glitz and gleam of Hollywood that was so enticing for a young man in his position. In just 295 games with the organization, O’Neal clearly left his mark. “Shaq Diesel” is the franchise’s all-time leader in blocks per game, player efficiency rating, and win shares per/48 minutes. He also sits top-5 all-time in Orlando franchise history in made field goals, made free throws, total offensive rebounds, total rebounds, total blocks, total points, field goal percentage, points per game, rebounds per game, rebounding percentage, block percentage, win shares, offensive box plus/minus, box plus/minus, and value over replacement player.

Miami Heat v Orlando Magic Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

1) Dwight Howard

8 seasons in Orlando, 621 games played
18.4 PTS, 13.0 REB, 2.2 BLK

The fact that I feel like I have to defend Dwight Howard being number one on this list partly explains the complicated legacy Dwight Howard left with the Orlando Magic franchise.

Comparing the two All-NBA franchise centers the Magic have been blessed to have in their history, I do think O’Neal was a more dominant player. For me, O’Neal was more offensively advanced than Howard was in the post (passing out of double-teams, post moves, etc.). I think he played at a slightly higher level than Howard did, and played at a time in the NBA with more quality centers in the league to deal with (Robinson, Olajuwon, Ewing, Mourning).

With that being said, Dwight Howard was elite in his own right. And to his credit, he played in Orlando twice as long as Shaq did. Howard carried the Magic to the NBA Finals without the benefit of another All-NBA performer in the lineup (O’Neal had Hardaway, Howard didn’t even have a healthy Nelson during the ‘09 playoffs). Like O’Neal, Howard was an all-time defensive presence in the paint, covering up so many holes in Orlando for years. The Magic drafted Howard out of high school first overall in the 2004 NBA Draft. Starting at center from day one, Howard averaged a double-double as a skinny 19-year-old. One of the most impressive things about Howard’s time in Orlando is how steady and durable he proved to be. Howard started 78 or more games for the Magic for seven consecutive seasons (he played all 82 games in four of those seasons).

Howard was named an All-Star in six consecutive seasons with the Magic from ‘07-’12. He led the league in rebounding four times as a member of the Magic (‘07-’10, ‘11-’12), and led the league in blocks twice (‘08-’10). “Superman” was named to five All-NBA teams during his time with the Magic, including four First-Team selections. Howard was the man in the middle of Stan van Gundy’s “four-out, one-in” offensive system, but it was at the defensive end that he made the biggest difference. Howard was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons from ‘08-’11.

Howard’s legacy with the Magic, or at least with Magic fans, is complicated due largely to the way things ended for the big man in Orlando. Howard’s relationship with Stan Van Gundy, some of his teammates, upper-management, and frankly the city itself, had soured to the point where the Atlanta-native forced his way out of town.

Once again, the Magic lost an all-time great center to Los Angeles. This time at least, the Magic weren’t as blindsided (as they were with Shaq) with the departure, and were able to trade Howard to the Lakers in a four-team blockbuster-type deal (acquired Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Josh McRoberts, Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless, and numerous picks).

Howard’s time in the NBA since he departed Orlando has been rocky to say the least. When he suits up for the Washington Wizards this season, it will be his fifth organization he’s played for in the last seven years (sixth if you count the Brooklyn Nets, who waived him this summer).

Folks may roll their eyes when they see how this list concluded, but I’m trying to be real. For me, Howard is the “top player” to ever play for the Orlando Magic (and unquestionably a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee). He brought the Magic to the playoffs for five straight seasons (57 playoff games played) and holds many of Orlando’s all-time records. Howard is Orlando’s all-time franchise leader in minutes played, made field goals, made free throws, total offensive rebounds, total rebounds, total blocks, total points, rebounds per game, true shooting percentage, rebounding percentage, defensive rating, win shares, and value over replacement player. He also ranks in the top-5 in franchise history in games played, defensive box plus/minus, win shares per/48, offensive rebound percentage, PER, blocks per game, points per game, total steals, and field goal percentage.

And there it is, the conclusion of a three part series over the course of a month that brought back many fond Orlando Magic memories my way.

I would like to thank our editor, Mike Cali, for supporting me through the process of writing this piece. Also, I would like to say a big thank you to Preston Ellis and Philip Rossman-Reich for having me on their podcasts to help promote and discuss these pieces.

And of course, I must recognize the holy grail of basketball, Basketball Reference (where I pull the majority of data in these articles from).

Thanks for reading, here’s to thirty more Magical years!!