Over the years, the Orlando Magic have had their fair share of superstars. They hope they have found another in Paolo Banchero.
On this day 30 years ago, however, Shaquille O’Neal became the first player in franchise history to appear in the NBA All-Star Game. Although the Eastern Conference lost to the West in overtime in Salt Lake City, O’Neal had a strong showing in the 135-132 defeat.
In his first appearance in the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 21, 1993, O’Neal uncharacteristically shot better from the foul line than the field. O’Neal finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. He finished 4-for-9 from the field and 6-for-9 from the stripe.
As for the contest itself, it was a good one. The West led most of the way, but a jumper from New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing with eight seconds left tied the game at 119. Tim Hardaway, then of the Golden State Warriors, had a chance to win it for the West but his late off-balanced shot was no good.
In overtime, the West again led most of the way. The East had opportunities late to tie or take the lead, but could not deliver.
Michael Jordan, of the Chicago Bulls, led all scorers with 30 points for the East in the loss. Mark Price, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, added 19 points for the Eastern Conference.
Local fans went home happy as Utah Jazz standouts Karl Malone and John Stockton shared MVP honors in the West victory. Malone led the West with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Stockton added nine points and 15 assists. David Robinson, of the San Antonio Spurs, also had a strong game in the victory with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Since the 1993 exhibition contest, Anfernee Hardaway, Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill, Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson and Nikola Vucevic had all earned All-Star honors as members of the Magic. O’Neal, however, was the first Orlando player to play in the All-Star Game when he did so on this day three decades ago.