30. Anthony Johnson (2000, 2009-10)
The 2010 Orlando Magic were a close-knit group. Their pregame ritual was a loose exhibition of the team’s athleticism and joy.
They were a title-contending team but thumbed their noses at the rest of the league by daring to have fun while doing it. Nobody wanted to believe they would be able to win the whole thing.
With roughly 10 minutes before the buzzer would ring to signal the end of warmups, the team would gather together at the free throw circle for what would get termed “The Magic Show.”
Slowly but surely each player would get introduced in a way. There was Jason Williams. And Vince Carter. And Dwight Howard. They would all split up from there and put on a dunk exhibition — some more hilarious than others and some downright crazy athletic for the ease they did them (see Howard, Dwight and Carter, Vince).
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At the center of all this was a nondescript player. Someone who averaged only 4.2 points per game and played fewer than 15 minutes per game. But he was still a key piece to the Magic’s contending puzzle at that time.
It was Anthony Johnson. The 34/35-year-old veteran backup point guard who went by several nicknames — “Grandpa” for his age, as Howard called him, or “No Neck” for well, his head sort of rested on his shoulders.
But what Johnson gave the team was consistency off the bench. He was someone who always kept the team level.
That was always how he played too. Never spectacular or anything, but always solid and consistent. The Magic were a better team for having him on there — both on and off the court.
And while other players from those title-contending teams rightly get their due, it was Johnson who often got forgotten.