The Orlando Magic returned to the All-Star Game for the first time in seven years last Sunday. We look back at the Magic’s best all-time performances.
The Orlando Magic have been absent from the NBA All-Star Game for a long time before Sunday’s game in Charlotte.
The team has lived a charmed 30-year history featuring some of the best players in league history cycling through the team. Shaquille O’Neal and Tracy McGrady are already Hall of Famers. Dwight Howard is likely to join them five years after he retires. Anfernee Hardaway would have been there too if injuries had not slowed his career.
Those four players are the Mt. Rushmore of Magic history. At various points in their Magic careers, they were All-NBA players and clear All-Stars. All four have multiple All-Star starts to their names in a Magic uniform.
That is a sign the Magic have always had some form of national relevancy, even with just two legitimate runs at a NBA championship in the team’s 30-year history.
The last six years without an All-Star was as much a sign of the team’s struggles to find direction as it was a struggle to keep some form of national relevancy. The Magic simply were not part of the larger picture in the NBA.
Orlando seemingly was searching for a star to fill that void — one that simply was not coming in the Draft or through its own internal development.
That changed Sunday night when Nikola Vucevic stepped onto the big stage as a NBA All-Star for the Magic. For the first time in seven years, Orlando had someone representing the team on the big stage of Sunday night’s All-Star Game.
Admittedly, Nikola Vucevic is not on the level of the other greats in the Magic’s long history of All-Stars. He is not likely to become a Hall of Famer (0.0 percent right now according to Basketball-Reference) any time soon.
That is probably why Vucevic’s first turn as an All-Star was pretty unimpressive — four points, five rebounds, two assists in 12 minutes. There is only so much a not-so-flashy player like Vucevic can do. The hope is he feels more comfortable on that stage if he ever gets a second time.
The All-Star Game is a quirky thing.
The best players dominate — as they should — but it takes a player who can create his own shot off the dribble to play well. Centers rarely do anything other than pick up scraps around the basket or catch lobs. That is unless they have a ton of charisma to pull themselves to a larger role.
The Magic have never had a player win the All-Star MVP despite all the big names that have played for the team under their logo. And that is also considering the Magic have had the coaching staff fill in for the All-Star team twice in the team’s history.
Still, there were plenty of fun All-Star performances worth remembering. Before the All-Star Game is too far in our rearview. Let’s rank the best performances in All-Star history by a Magic player.