Every NBA team’s Mount Rushmore

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 8: Michael Jordan
CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 8: Michael Jordan /
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Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard may not have been much liked by the time he left Orlando, but he helped carry the organization to some of its highest moments. Howard was a six-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year in Orlando. He helped anchor the 2008-09 team that lost in the NBA Finals to the Lakers and is still the franchise’s all-time leader in minutes, points, rebounds and blocked shots.

Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway were the Magic’s first stars but O’Neal’s burned brighter and thus he gets the nod here. O’Neal played just four seasons with the Magic but he won Rookie of the Year, made four All-Star teams, led the league in scoring, took the team to the NBA Finals and helped put the Orlando Magic on the NBA map.

Nick Anderson was the first draft pick in Orlando Magic history and is still the franchise’s all-time leader in games played. Anderson spent ten season with the Magic, averaging 15.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Shaq and Penny may have been the stars of those early Orlando teams, but Anderson’s quiet versatility was the glue that held them together.

Tracy McGrady also played just four seasons with Magic but gets credit for the absurd peaks he reached during that time. McGrady was a four-time All-Star with the Magic, won Most Improved Plays in 2001, and led the league in scoring twice. In the 2002-03 season, McGrady averaged 32.1 points (tops in the league), 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. He carried that team, whose second-best player was either Pat Garrity or a 34-year-old Darrell Armstrong, to a .500 record and a seven-game first round series loss against the Detroit Pistons.