By the (jersey) numbers: Who wore it best for the Magic?
FEB 28, 2014 11:00a ET
Certain numbers spring quickly to mind when thinking about the 25-year history of the Orlando Magic -- the 62 points in a game by Tracy McGrady, the NBA-record 30 assists in a game by Scott Skiles, the 40 consecutive regular-season home victories in 1995 and 1996.
But as is the case with any team which has been around for very long, the jersey numbers and the players who wore them linger the longest in the collective memory.
Here's a look at the Orlando Magic by numbers, so to speak:
00 -- ANTHONY AVENT (1994-95): OK, so there wasn't a whole lot to choose from here. Avent was a power forward who started 23 games over a two-year stint with the Magic, with most of his starts coming before they acquired Horace Grant in the summer of 1994.
Others: Anthony Cook (1994), Amal McCaskill (1997), Olumide Oyedeji (2003)
0 -- DREW GOODEN (2004): After donning the No. 9 jersey upon being obtained from the Memphis Grizzlies in February 2003, Gooden switched to this before the start of the following season. Seeing as how his scoring and rebounding averages both dropped noticeably as the Magic went from a playoff team to one that lost 61 games, maybe the talented if somewhat flaky forward should have left well enough alone.
1 -- PENNY HARDAWAY (1994-99), TRACY MCGRADY (2001-04): Who says you have to pick one over the other? Except for Shaquille O'Neal and possibly Dwight Howard, these are the two most transcendent stars in franchise history. But there will always be questions of "what if?" surrounding both of them. For Hardaway, it's what if he had stayed healthy and O'Neal hadn't left for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996. For McGrady, it's what if he and Grant Hill were able to play more than 47 games together over a four-year stretch.
Others: Kiwane Garris (1999), Doug Christie (2004), Trevor Ariza (2006-07), Maurice Evans (2007), Rafer Alston (2009), Gilbert Arenas (2010-11), Von Wafer (2011-12), Doron Lamb (2013-present)
2 -- DESHAWN STEVENSON (2004): Stevenson wore this number for 26 games at the end of the disastrous 2003-04 season after being picked up in a trade with the Utah Jazz. When the Magic signed Stacey Augmon that summer, Stevenson switched to No. 9. Although Kyle O'Quinn is currently in only his second season, he has overtaken Augmon as their all-time leader in games played with this number.
Others: Steve Kerr (1992), David Benoit (1998), Vernon Maxwell (1998), B.J. Armstrong (1999), Elliot Perry (2000), Cory Alexander (2001), Jaren Jackson (2002)
3 -- DENNIS SCOTT (1991-97): While his franchise record for most 3-point field goals made in a career is in danger of being broken by Jameer Nelson, Scott's reputation for marksmanship from long range will always remain. The Magic made a total of 116 3-pointers in their first season. Scott was drafted that summer by them with the fourth overall pick, and he hit 125 as a rookie. His 267 3-pointers in 1995-96 were a league record that stood for 10 years.
Others: Kevin Ollie (1997), Monty Williams (1999-2002), Keith Bogans (2003-04), Steve Francis (2004-06), Earl Clark (2010-12), Al Harrington (2012-13)
4 -- SCOTT SKILES (1990-94): Arron Afflalo, Rony Seikaly, Ben Wallace and Tony Battie have all had their moments. But the first Magic player to ever wear this number stands apart from the crowd, largely because of what Skiles did on the night of Dec. 30, 1990 against the Denver Nuggets. He was the Magic's career leader in assists with 2,776 over five seasons until Jameer Nelson moved past him in January 2013.
Others: Spud Webb (1998), Ryan Humphrey (2002-03), Donnell Harvey (2003), Lee Nailon (2004)
5 -- VICTOR OLADIPO (2014): Too soon? Not really. While still a rookie, Oladipo has provided several highlights this season and will play a prominent role in shaping the Magic's future. Fans with longer memories might associate this number more with Keyon Dooling or Donald Royal.
Others: Stephen Thompson (1992), Dell Demps (1996), Mark Price (1997-98), Ron Mercer (2000), Jeryl Sasser (2001-03), Juwan Howard (2003-04), Cuttino Mobley (2004-05), Quentin Richardson (2010-12)
6 -- PATRICK EWING (2002): The only number retired in franchise history (in honor of the fans) was allowed to be worn by Ewing when the Magic brought aboard the longtime New York Knicks great in 2001. Ewing's quest for a title at age 39 went unfulfilled as the Magic were bounced in the first round by the Charlotte Hornets.
7 -- J.J. REDICK (2007-13): There have been plenty of players to come out of college as great scorers but never amount to anything on the professional level. Redick isn't one of them. Beginning with his third year in Orlando, he became a valuable contributor off the bench and developed into more than just a 3-point shooter.
Others: Dee Brown (2000-01), Gordan Giricek (2002-04), Michael Bradley (2004), Mark Jones (2005)
8 -- PAT GARRITY (2000-08): There's a lot to be said for longevity, even if Garrity's length of service with the Magic went largely unnoticed until he was honored by them in January. His 513 games played are good for fourth on their all-time list, and he made more than 160 3-pointers in back-to-back seasons (2001-03).
Others: Brian Williams (1991-93), Jason Lawson (1997), Isaac Austin (1999), Anthony Johnson (2008-10)
9 -- RASHARD LEWIS (2008-11): While on the subject of 3-point shooters, the addition of Lewis in the summer of 2007 helped the Magic finally get past the first round of the playoffs and then reach the Eastern Conference finals in successive years. He averaged a staggering 204 3-pointers made in those three seasons.
Others: Tim Kempton (1997), Gerald Wilkins (1999), Tariq Abdul-Wahad (1999-2000), Drew Gooden (2003), DeShawn Stevenson (2004-06), Nikola Vucevic (2012-present)
10 -- DARRELL ARMSTRONG (1995-03): You'd be hard-pressed to find a more well-liked player in team history than Armstrong, a classic overachiever. Undrafted out of Fayetteville State, where he also kicked for the school's football team, Armstrong was awarded in 1999 as the NBA's top sixth man and most improved player. The point guard led the Magic in steals four years in a row and in free-throw percentage seven years in a row.
Others: Tyronn Lue (2003-04, 2009), Keith Bogans (2006-09), Ish Smith (2011-13), Ronnie Price (2013-present)
11 -- SAM VINCENT (1990-92): Part of the group of players taken in the 1989 expansion draft, Vincent made 80 starts over a three-year stretch and averaged 10.1 points a game. Current Magic coach Jacque Vaughn wore this number during the 2002-03 season, when he started 48 games and averaged 5.9 points.
Others: Litterial Green (1992-94), Doug Overton (1999), Earl Boykins (1999), Troy Hudson (2000-02), Shammond Williams (2003-04), Andre Barrett (2005), Courtney Lee (2008-09), Glen Davis (2011-14)
12 -- DWIGHT HOWARD (2005-12): The franchise's career leader in points (11,435), rebounds (8,072) and minutes (22,471), Howard might have been at his most impressive when he scored 40 points and grabbed 14 rebounds against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to send the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals. It's hard to believe now that the Magic were roundly criticized for taking him straight out of high school in 2004 with the first pick in the draft.
Others: Joe Wolf (1995-96), Derek Harper (1997-98), Chris Whitney (2003), Tobias Harris (2013-present)
13 -- JOHN AMAECHI (2000-01): An integral part of the 1999-2000 "heart and hustle" team coached by Doc Rivers, Amaechi made 53 starts that season and averaged 10.5 points a game. This is a number associated with centers who weren't with the Magic for very long (Amaechi, Kelvin Cato) or went on to flourish elsewhere (Marcin Gortat).
Others: Chris Corchiani (1991-93), Derrick Dial (2003)
14 -- JAMEER NELSON (2005-14): First in assists and second in games played in team history, Nelson fell all the way down to 20th on the night of the 2004 NBA draft before the Magic acquired his rights in a trade. Perhaps that slight of being taken after such eventual busts as Rafael Araujo, Luke Jackson, Robert Swift and Kirk Snyder has served to motivate Nelson all these years, much to the Magic's benefit and delight.
Others: Anthony Bowie (1991-96)
15 -- HEDO TURKOGLU (2005-13): Turkoglu or Vince Carter? The Turk gets the edge here for earning Most Improved Player honors in 2008 and helping the Magic to their second trip to the NBA Finals the following year. Besides, how many 6-foot-10 guys rank sixth on any team's all-time list in assists?
Others: Sean Higgins (1992), Matt Harpring (1999-2000)
17 -- JOSH McROBERTS (2013): McRoberts wins this by default over Johnny Taylor, one of several first-round draft picks who never amounted to anything. Now with the Charlotte Bobcats, McRoberts played in 41 games last season for the Magic before being traded for cash considerations.
19 -- BENO UDRIH (2013): Another blast from the not-so-distant past. Udrih was acquired last February in a trade which also brought Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb from Milwaukee to Orlando. He averaged 10.2 points in 27 games before the Magic chose not to re-sign him over the summer.
Others: Gustavo Ayon (2012-013)
20 -- MICKAEL PIETRUS (2009-11): Coach Stan Van Gundy could often put four accomplished 3-point shooters on the floor at the same time during the Magic's run to the conference finals in back-to-back years. Pietrus was part of that lineup, although he might have been best known for becoming one of TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley's favorite players.
Others: Morlon Wiley (1989-92), Brian Shaw (1994-97), Kevin Edwards (1998), Larry Hughes (2011), DeQuan Jones (2012-13)
21 -- SIDNEY GREEN (1990): The first player chosen by the Magic in the expansion draft involving them and the Minnesota Timberwolves, Green wound up lasting just one season before being traded to San Antonio in October 1990. Maurice Harkless currently wears this number.
Others: Gerald Wilkins (1996-98), Dominique Wilkins (1999), Robert Archibald (2003), Daniel Orton (2011-12)
22 -- MATT BARNES (2010): For one season (2009-10), Barnes infused the Magic with an in-your-face assertiveness on defense. He started 58 games at small forward for the team which then swept Charlotte and Atlanta in the first two rounds of the playoffs before losing in six games to Boston in the conference finals.
Others: Brooks Thompson (1994-96), Reece Gaines (2003-04), Solomon Jones (2013-14)
23 -- JASON RICHARDSON (2011-12): Best known for his game-tying four-point play in the closing seconds of regulation against Philadelphia in January 2011, Richardson was acquired from Phoenix in one of two blockbuster trades pulled off by then-general manager Otis Smith to try to get the Magic to the conference finals for a third year in a row.
Others: Carl Thomas (1997), Johnny Taylor (2000)
24 -- REGGIE THEUS (1990): Theus was the first player regarded as the face of the franchise. But after averaging almost 19 points a game during the Magic's inaugural season, he was traded to New Jersey for two future second-round picks. As shocked as many fans were by the move, it became clear that Theus needed to go in order to further the development of another shooting guard.
Others: Todd Lichti (1994), Anthony Bonner (1996), Dan Schayes (1996-99), Anthony Parker (1999), Anthony Johnson (2000)
25 -- NICK ANDERSON (1990-99): Anderson wasn't much of an outside shooter when the Magic drafted him out of Illinois with the 11th overall pick in 1989. But he ended up becoming that and a whole lot more in the years which followed. Almost 15 years after his last game for them, he continues to top their list in games played, steals, and field goals made and attempted, including ones from 3-point range.
Others: Chris Gatling (1999-2000), Chris Duhon (2010-12)
26 -- DESMOND PENIGAR (2004): Penigar was a small forward signed to a pair of 10-day contracts during the forgettable 2003-04 season. He played in 10 games before being released.
Others: James Robinson (2001)
27 -- ZAZA PACHULIA (2004): Pachulia was part of the same team as Penigar. While the 6-11 center made only two starts in his one season with the Magic, he has gone on to a productive NBA career with Atlanta and Milwaukee.
30 -- BRANDON BASS (2010-11): Signed as a free agent during the summer of 2009, Bass made 54 starts for the Magic over two years before being traded to Boston for another power forward, Glen Davis.
Others: Tree Rollins (1993-95), Kenny Smith (1996), Jud Buechler (2001-02), Carlos Arroyo (2005-08)
31 -- JEFF TURNER (1990-96): To those familiar with Turner primarily through his work as a color analyst for the Magic on radio and television, it could come as a surprise to know he still ranks in their top 10 in games played with 411. His best season came when he averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 1990-91 as the Magic improved from 18 wins the year before to 31.
Others: Mark McNamara (1990), Howard Wright (1991-92), Chucky Atkins (1999-2000), Pat Burke (2002-03), Britton Johnsen (2003), Rod Strickland (2004), Darko Milicic (2005-07), Adonal Foyle (2007-09)
32 -- SHAQUILLE O'NEAL (1993-96): Whenever the Magic decide to honor him in the weeks ahead, it will trigger a flood of memories and emotions unlike any they have seen thus far. O'Neal put what was a 3-year-old franchise on the national sports map in 1992 after the Magic won the draft lottery, and for the next four years, sellout crowds awaited them home and away. While he remains close to many people within the organization, some of the wounds from his departure in 1996 to the Los Angeles Lakers have yet to fully heal.
Others: Otis Smith (1989-92), Jeremy Richardson (2008), Justin Harper (2011)
33 -- GRANT HILL (2001-07): After six seasons of individual brilliance but limited team success with the Detroit Pistons, Hill arrived in Orlando in the summer of 2000 amid great expectations. That euphoria quickly faded when an injury to the inside bone of his left ankle sustained in that year's playoffs required numerous operations and countless hours of rehabilitation. Hill played a total of 200 games over seven years before he and the Magic parted ways.
Others: Terry Catledge (1989-92), Derek Strong (1996-2000), Ryan Anderson (2009-12)
34 -- GREG KITE (1991-94): In the two years before Shaq, Kite was the Magic's regular center. He started all 82 games in 1990-91 and provided a no-frills, no-nonsense veteran presence on a young team. Despite his physical reputation, Kite fouled out of only seven of 247 games during his time in Orlando. Jon Koncak had the same number of disqualifications in one season.
Others: Brian Evans (1996-98), Miles Simon (1999), Brandon Hunter (2004-05), Travis Diener (2005-07), Brian Cook (2007-09), DeAndre Liggins (2011-12)
35 -- JERRY REYNOLDS (1990-92): As a taller-than-average small forward with excellent passing skills, Reynolds was a bit ahead of his time during the Magic's first three seasons. During the final 18 games of the 1990-91 season, he averaged almost 18 points a game, primarily while coming off the bench.
Others: Malik Allen (2010)
40 -- SHAWN KEMP (2003): An All-Star in Seattle and Cleveland, the Magic thought they could get something out of Kemp at age 32 upon signing him in September 2002. But time and weight had caught up to him by then. He started 55 of 79 games but averaged only 6.8 points on 41.8-percent shooting.
Others: Dave Corzine (1989), Tom Tolbert (1992-93), Terence Morris (2005-06), James Augustine (2006-08)
41 -- MARIO KASUN (2005-06): The 7-1 native of Croatia was a project who never quite developed as hoped over the course of two seasons (2004-06).
42 -- MARK ACRES (1990-92): When Dave Corzine suffered a knee injury during the Magic's third game ever, Acres took over for him as their starting center. He played at least 68 games in each of their first three seasons.
Others: Larry Krystkowiak (1993-94), David Vaughn (1995-97)
43 -- GEERT HAMMINK (1994-96): A backup to O'Neal at LSU, Hammink played in just five games over three years after being drafted toward the end of the first round in 1993.
Others: Lorenzo Williams (1992-94)
44 -- JASON WILLIAMS (2010-11): The well-traveled point guard signed with the Magic in August 2009 at the age of 33 and was a solid player off the bench for a team which went 59-23. He was released by them halfway through the following season.
Others: Andrew Nicholson (2012-present)
45 -- BO OUTLAW (1998-2008): His energy and work ethic was an endless source of amazement to Chuck Daly and Doc Rivers during their years of coaching the Magic. Outlaw led them in blocked shots three times during a four-year stretch after coming over from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Others: Michael Ansley (1989-91), Jon Koncak (1995-96), Sean Rooks (2004)
50 -- MIKE MILLER (2001-03): The former Florida standout is one of only two Magic players to receive Rookie of the Year honors. He shot 40.7 percent from 3-point range in his first season (2000-01) and raised his scoring averages each of the next two years before being traded to Memphis.
Others: Jawann Oldham (1990), Felton Spencer (1996), Corey Maggette (1999-2000)
51 -- MICHAEL DOLEAC (1999-01): One of three first-round picks by the Magic in 1998, Doleac had a soft shooting touch for a 6-11 center but never averaged as much as 20 minutes a game in any of his three seasons with them. He holds the team record for most games fouled out of in a season (10, in 2000-01).
52 -- DON REID (2001-02): Undersized for a center at 6-8, Reid wasn't bashful during his two seasons with the Magic about throwing around his 250 pounds in order to grab rebounds and block shots.
Others: Jonathan Kerner (1999)
53 -- STANLEY ROBERTS (1992): Roberts was the second of the Magic's two first-round choices in 1991, with Brian Williams being the first. He started 34 games at center before his days became numbered when the Magic earned the right to draft O'Neal, his former teammate at LSU.
54 -- HORACE GRANT (1995-2003): The winner of three championship rings from his years with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Grant helped lead the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals in his first season in Orlando. He ranks fourth on their all-time rebounding list with 3,353, although after reaching the conference finals in 1996, the Magic never got that far again until nearly seven years after Grant's last game with them.
Others: Jason Maxiell (2013-present)
55 -- ANDREW DeCLERCQ: After being acquired in 2000 from Cleveland for forward Matt Harpring, DeClercq became the starting center on a team which went 43-39 before losing to Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs. He spent three more seasons with them, never averaging more than 4.7 points a game.
Others: Keith Tower (1993-94), E'Twaun Moore (2012-present)