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Magical firsts — Part I: In the beginning

Orlando Magic v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Less than one month separates us from the start of the Orlando Magic’s 2022-23 season. For the franchise, this will be its 34th season.

Short of an NBA title, the Magic have accomplished many things throughout their history. We begin a three-part series by looking back on some franchise firsts.

In this piece, we’ll revisit the franchise’s first points, opponent, win, draft pick and more.

First Draft Pick: Nick Anderson, G (No. 11 overall in 1989 NBA Draft)

Nick Anderson, a 6-foot-6 guard from Illinois, would be the first player ever drafted by the Orlando Magic and he turned out to be a good one. Anderson averaged better than 15 points per game over his 10 seasons with the franchise. Anderson never made the All-Star Game, but he did represent the Magic at the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in both the Slam Dunk Contest and 3-Point Shootout.

First Opponent: New Jersey Nets (Nov. 4, 1989)

The first opponent in Orlando Magic history was the New Jersey Nets. The Nets came to the Orlando Arena to open the 1989-90 season and the Magic gave them all they wanted. Orlando led late, but miscues down the stretch were the difference. New Jersey closed on a 6-1 run to leave with a 111-106 victory.

First Points: Terry Catledge, F (Nov. 4, 1989, vs. New Jersey Nets)

The franchise was 40 seconds old when Terry Catledge scored the first basket in Magic history. One of the early standouts for the franchise, Catledge would lead Orlando with 25 points in the first-ever game.

First Win: vs. New York Knicks (Nov. 6, 1989)

The Orlando Magic were unable to win their opener, but they didn’t have to wait long after that. In just their second-ever game, the Magic stunned the New York Knicks, 118-110. New York’s Patrick Ewing led all scorers with 29 points, but the Magic shot 51% from the field and had seven players score in double figures. Reggie Theus led the way with 24 points while Terry Catledge and Jerry Reynolds each tallied 19 points and double-doubles. Scott Skiles added 13 points and eight assists off the Magic bench.

First Double-Double: Terry Catledge, F (Nov. 4, 1989, vs. New Jersey Nets)

The first double-double in Magic history came in the very first game. In the aforementioned loss to the New Jersey Nets, Terry Catledge finished with game-highs of 25 points and 16 rebounds. Catledge, a 6-8 power forward with shooting range, would lead the team by averaging 19.4 points per game during their inaugural season.

First Triple-Double: Sam Vincent, G (Jan. 30, 1990, vs. Indiana Pacers)

The Magic were more than halfway through their inaugural season when guard Sam Vincent became the first Orlando player to record a triple double. In a 129-111 win over the Indiana Pacers, Vincent tallied 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 17 assists. The Magic actually trailed by a point after three quarters, but opened the final period of a 21-6 run and never looked back.