Who has next for the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame?

Bo Outlaw was the hustle part of heart and hustle and someone who should expect a call to the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame. (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images)
Bo Outlaw was the hustle part of heart and hustle and someone who should expect a call to the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame. (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Jeff Turner, and other Orlando Magic support staff

It is really hard to imagine the Orlando Magic without Jeff Turner. He has been with the franchise virtually since the beginning.

He signed with the team on July 11, 1989, before the team’s first season. He played seven largely unspectacular seasons with the Magic, bouncing in and out of the rotation for much of his time in Orlando.

The Orlando Magic traded him to the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1996. He was injured at the time and never played for the Grizzlies. He almost immediately returned to Orlando and started doing radio color commentary by the end of that 1996 season.

He was the team’s radio color commentator from the 1997 season through 2005. He took a break to coach and work for Lake Highland Preparatory School in town before rejoining the Magic broadcast as the television color commentator in 2013 after spending a few seasons as a studio analyst.

Essentially, there have been only six seasons of Magic basketball where Jeff Turner was not involved in some way. He is a central figure in how fans relate to the Magic.

Turner would get in for this impact and this relationship as much as his days on the court. Turner averaged 6.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in his seven seasons with the Magic.

But he has cemented himself as a voice for the Magic on-air and a key cog in the relationship between the team and the fans.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

More importantly, Turner is considered the team’s first free-agent signing. He essentially was the first player to choose Orlando. And the fact he has stayed here in the 31 years since is a really powerful statement. Especially considering what Orlando was when the Magic arrived.

There are a lot of other people who fit that same bill as contributors that deserve some recognition.

None probably more so than public address announcer Paul Porter.

Porter has been the in-arena voice of the Magic since the beginning, driving all the way from Tampa for most games. He has started splitting games between the Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Lightning. But Porter is always in the arena for the big games now and as much a part of the experience of attending Magic games.

His booming voice and derisive tones for the opponent helped change public address announcing. His seeming cackle as a team committed a travel or threw the ball out of bounds added to the somewhat avant-garde experience of going to a game at the Orlando Arena in the mid-1990s. There are unconfirmed stories the NBA asked him and the Magic staff to tone it down.

The Magic could also choose to honor John Gabriel.

John Gabriel was an assistant coach under Matt Guokas‘ original coaching staff and moved into the front office. He worked with Pat Williams to free up the cap room to sign Horace Grant. Then as the general manager of the team, he pulled off the move that brought in Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill, ushering in a new era of Magic basketball (albeit ill-fated).

Another staff member the Magic have previously honored is  Director of Team Operations Rodney “Sid” Powell.

Powell has been with the team since its beginning too, working as an equipment manager. He is vital to the team’s operations. It is unlikely the team would give him the Hall of Fame honor because his just is so behind the scenes.

The Magic honored Powell at mid-court during the team’s 15-year anniversary in 2004.