Jacque Vaughn’s Initial “Stay Patient” Message Rings True to Orlando Magic Fans

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Magic fans had seen the team more or less achieve its full potential with Dwight Howard as its centerpiece, and the experiment had run its due course. The team reached the Finals in 2009 and won its first NBA Finals game, but still lost four of five in the series and finished the season with another consolation prize: an Eastern Conference Champion banner. It was the second to be hoisted to the rafters of the Amway, but no championship banners yet hang above the courts.

And it’s been 23 seasons now for Magic fans, so a lot are beginning to wonder if the team will ever see itself a Larry O’Brien trophy.

Two memes I posted earlier this season on FanSided site Hardwood Houdini illustrated the ghastly reality that Magic fans know all too well: players come here to develop and go chase their rings elsewhere (L.A. seems to come to mind, for some strange reason).

Magic fans have twice now seen their team possess the best center in the league and watch him bolt for the Purple and Gold. Lakers fans have to look at our roster as a potential harvesting field for prospects at this point, and it’s only fitting enough that the Magic’s current 5-man Nikola Vucevic attended USC in Los Angeles. To see him bolt almost makes too much sense.

But Magic fans try not to get ahead of themselves and think like that. Let each player and each rebuilding effort speak for itself. Sure, every era does eventually reach its end, whether it be through the guy going on to greener pastures or via his retirement, but the fact of the matter is that it has almost never been the latter for the Magic.

Even their first draft selection ever, Nick Anderson, spent almost his entire career with the Magic before being shipped off to Sacramento for the ever promising Tariq Abdul-Wahad with just moments left in Nick’s career. It’s still difficult to comprehend that the Magic’s management couldn’t give No. 25 a proper sendoff. More to that point, a strong contingent of Magic fans believe Anderson’s number should be the only one retired, yet it is not.

It’s been a storied 23 years, but Magic fans are hoping the best stories are yet to come.