Orlando Magic Shooting Month: 5 Magic 3-point shooters before their times

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Dennis Scott, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers
Orlando Magic forwar Dennis Scott helped redefine the 3-point shot in basketball. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA evolves and changes constantly. Skill sets that are valuable one day are not quite as valuable the next. Players come to the league and challenge pre-conceived notions and sometimes the league is just not ready for it.

That is undoubtedly true when it comes to the 3-pointer’s evolution within the league.

The NBA introduced the ABA gimmick to the league for the 1980 season. And it was largely viewed as that — just a gimmick. As we detailed, it was not really until the mid-1990s (and with the help of a shortened 3-point line) that the 3-point line took off as a viable weapon to help with winning basketball.

That change and shift has had dramatic effects around the league.

It is not merely the volume of 3-pointers being taken in the modern game — it seems that every year a new single-season record for 3-pointers — it is the way they are taken. The game has evolved away from having two big men in the paint (although it is starting to swing back that way in some ways) and looks to spread the floor. Things are evolving further with the advent of 5-out offenses and using centers as playmakers now.

Basketball today looks very different than basketball did when the Magic joined the league 34 years ago. It looks different than it did when the Orlando Magic changed the league 15 years ago with their 2009 Finals run.

The Orlando Magic were part of the NBA’s 3-point revolution and had several players who played well ahead of the times they played in.

The Magic’s history is very central to the story of the 3-point-shooting revolution. Both in its initial burst in the mid-1990s with their plan to surround Shaquille O’Neal with shooters and its 2009 Finals run that saw them build the first winning 4-out team in the league.

But there are always players who fall through the cracks. There are always players whose skill sets are just well before anyone was ready or knew how to use them. There are always players who are well before their time and preview the world that is to come.

Every team finds these types of players. The Magic were among the teams that pushed the league toward the 3-point revolution. And they had plenty of players who were doing it far before their time, previewing the skills that became regular in the league.

As we spend this month celebrating the Magic’s history with shooting, we look at the pioneers who were well before their time who donned a Magic uniform.