Orlando Magic Rewatchables: Orlando Magic dethrones Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

The Orlando Magic hold the final playoff series win over Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. (Photo credit should read TONY RANZE/AFP via Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic hold the final playoff series win over Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. (Photo credit should read TONY RANZE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Anfernee Hardaway, Michael Jordan, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls
Anfernee Hardaway was the Orlando Magic’s big gamble to take their next step to a title team. /

What Aged the Worst?

The Worst: The iso/post-based play style

As much fun as the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic can look when they are in transition and flying toward the rim. Their half-court offenses are very much a product of the times.

And basketball in the 1990s was rough.

It is not the physicality. That is what a lot of people point to as why the basketball of yesterday was better. There is definitely a more physical game and some harder fouls. Players are allowed to do more. And maybe that informed the style.

It is neither good nor bad. It just is the way the game was called. That physicality probably made it more difficult to cut and have some freedom of off-ball motion lest they get crushed cutting across the lane without the ball.

But the basketball is fairly simple. And frustratingly so.

It devolves into role players surrounding one-on-one battles and whether you can beat someone individually. The goal is to isolate and try to draw a double to create ball movement.

Teams like the Magic and the Bulls who use some off-ball movement really stand out for adding something of a mix. But some of the sets are . . . not inspiring.

Take the end of Game 1, before “the steal,” the Magic try posting up Dennis Scott from the 3-point line and have him back down to the basket. They would do this with Nick Anderson and Anfernee Hardaway too. there was just a seeming obsession with brute physical force.

Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls /

Chicago Bulls

That is all well and good when it works. But there is little pick and roll basketball — Hardaway and O’Neal should be a deadly combo, but their pick and roll is rarely used — and the teams just are not comfortable using the 3-point line. It is a lot of standing around at times.

The best basketball of the series is played in transition and when the teams move the ball quickly after getting a double on their drives. At least, the drive-and-kick game is alive and well.

It is easy to lionize the 1990s. And, sure, there is something to be said for the physical brand that teams played in the era.

But basketball today is just a whole lot more sophisticated. There is a whole lot more going on with each possession.

Teams are trying to do more — maybe overthinking at times — but I have to say today is a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

Also the Worst: Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan became a thing during the Magic’s 1995 Playoff run. He showed up at Game 5, went down to the court in his full regalia and ripped off his shirt to reveal a Magic jersey. He donned Horace Grant goggles to boot.

Hogan was a big star at the time — he had just jumped to WCW and his angle with Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone was still a few years off. And the crowd ate it up.

Hogan would return for the 2009 Finals to help pump up the crowd.

But, yeah, this did not age well after accusations of racism were levied at Hogan and even WWE had to tell him to go away for a while.