The Magic have been celebrating their 25th Anniversary season this year with several endeavors. That includes the Legends Night where the Magic's all-time greats have returned for a special presentation at mid-court. It has also featured small tribute videos to former Magic players and coaches as they travel through the Amway Center with other teams.
That has raised the big question regarding Wednesday's game. Will the Magic play a video for Dwight Howard during the first quarter to thank him for his part in the 25 years of Orlando Magic?
The answer to that question is yes, according to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com.
Denton was on Tuck & O'Neill on Sports Talk Florida 1080 AM in Orlando on Monday and was asked whether Howard will get his day in the sun with Orlando. Denton reported that he would.
Whether Magic fans can stomach this will be another question. There will certainly be booing for Howard during the game and almost certainly during a video honoring him for his contributions to the team (as great as they are). It has felt in many of the retrospective videos, the Magic have tried to show Howard as little as possible.
Unfortunately for still angry Magic fans, there is no celebrating Magic history without recognizing everything Howard has done for the organization. He was the team's star player and a larger-than-life figure. He was a three-time defensive player of the year in Orlando, an All Star and the captain of the 2009 Finals team (whom my readers voted the greatest team in Magic history).
Howard did a lot of great things and it is important not to forget that. While there will surely be some boos and some anger from the Magic fan base, this will be a good first step in mending the bridge.
As Denton said in his interview with Tuck and O'Neill, the Magic fans really embraced formerly vilified stars Anfernee Hardaway and Tracy McGrady in their returns. These stars will be welcomed back home (and Denton hinted Shaquille O'Neal's return is coming soon).
Howard will get his tribute video. The fans will reat the way they will. But it is an honor well deserved and a necessary recognition for this organization as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary season.