Orlando Magic’s Most Popular Player: Breaking down the fan vote

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Tracy McGrady, Orlando Magic

ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 30: Tracy McGrady #1 of the Orlando Magic prepares to dunk on a breakaway during the game against the Washington Wizards at TD Waterhouse Centre on December 30, 2002 in Orlando, Florida. The Magic won 112-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2002 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images)

Our list of the most popular players in Orlando Magic history is out. I break down where the fan vote came down and who fans believe is the most popular.

This past week, Orlando Magic Daily released its annual list of something by ranking the top 30 most popular players in team history. Popularity was left intentionally vague to try to elicit everything that word embodies.

It could mean players that Orlando Magic fans especially appreciated. It could mean players that draw the most nostalgia. Or the player that did the most to drive Magic fandom. Or even the players that had the most national popularity.

The term could mean a whole lot. And it was intriguing to see how the whole list shook out and why members of the Orlando Magic Daily staff voted the way they did and ultimately how the fans voted and submitted their nominations.

The methodology for the list was similar to our previous lists ranking the best players in Magic history and the best teams in Magic history. I asked the Orlando Magic Daily staff to submit their rankings of the top 15 most popular players in team history.

But popularity could not and should not be limited to our opinions. There is such a wide array and I felt like it was important for this topic to give fans the vote. I did this in three ways, adding it to the staff vote.

First, I requested nominations from fans to get a working list of players that fans thought were popular. I figured we would get a lot of the regular players that define Magic history. But I was hoping that I would also find players who may have slipped through the cracks.

The fans did not disappoint. They nominated 27 different players, including plenty that I really enjoyed but did not fit into any of the lists we had previously.

My plan then was to hold a Twitter poll throughout the week to create a ranking of the teams. You probably thought the Twitter poll was random in how I ordered players, but it was actually the rankings from the staff voting and the fan nominations.

You saw how that played out.

Looking for one more voice, I asked members of the Orlando Magic Subreddit community to submit their individual lists of the most popular players in Magic history. I figured that informed fan base would give another solid voice and vote to finalize our list.

Today, with the full results out, I wanted to review what the fans had to say and where they ultimately fell in this conversation. After all, they make the ultimate decision on popularity.

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