This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Orlando Magic basketball. The team itself will be celebrating with look backs at the team's stories history and recognition of the team's greatest players (Tracy McGrady is due in town Friday for a night honoring him). Orlando Magic Daily loves celebrating Magic history (probably too much). And so each day this season, we will dig into Magic history a little bit and share the team's history.
This is a two-fer for the 25 Years of Magic, since I missed yesterday being a bit under the weather.
Yesterday, the Magic opened the season in Indiana and we chose to remember the Magic's Game 7 victory over the Pacers in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. You can relive that glorious moment here too and do not forget to check out the 1995 Playoff run in the Magic Video Vault:
On to today's moment:
The Minnesota Timberwolves are also celebrating their 25th Anniversary this season and the Magic will help its sister team open their 25th Anniversary season tonight at Target Center.
There have not been many classic games between the Magic and the Timberwolves. Their franchises have taken very different trajectories and are in very different places. But in 1989-90, they were in the same place.
On Nov. 30, 1989, the Magic hosted the Timberwolves for the first matchup between the two expansion franchises. The win put the Magic at 7-7 in front of the sellout crowd at Orlando Arena. The 7-7 record was the best mark for an expansion franchise since the Bulls entered in the league.
The Magic got some unsuspecting help from the Timberwolves' Donald Royal, who would later make a career with the Magic. Here is the recap from the Orlando Sentinel:
Orlando is winning because of plays such as Catledge's. Orlando had blown open the game with a 16-0 run in the third quarter, but Minnesota, also an expansion team, fought back to give Orlando a scare.
With Orlando ahead, 99-96, and 21 seconds left, Donald Royal missed a jumper for the Timberwolves. The ball bounced off two or three players and ricocheted off Catledge toward the baseline. It would have been Minnesota's possession if the ball had traveled out of bounds, but Catledge dived hard to the floor, saved the ball and threw it behind his back to Magic forward Reggie Theus.
Twenty-five years later, the Magic and the Wolves have grown up a lot. Tonight's game will hopefully be equally as productive and exciting as the last one.