10 Most Embarrassing Players in Orlando Magic History
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The Orlando Magic have had a run of embarrassing and underachieving guys come through the organization. Magic ownership has always done a pretty decent job of avoiding guys that act up off the court.
With the way some of these guys played though, Magic fans may have wished to settle for guys who could actually play the game, even if a little bad behavior came with it.
So, you won't see many guys who had off-court issues in this slideshow, save the No. 1 slide, and I chose to focus on his horrible play rather than his off-court antics at any rate.
My approach was to focus on the guys who were so bad on the court that it made fans groan in agony to watch them attempt to play the game, or on guys whose efforts lacked spirit.
This slide show looks at 10 guys that were an insult to paying fans; guys who provided no true entertainment, unless you're the type that can just sit back and laugh at tragedy. Whether it be a failed draft pick or an over-the-hill veteran, there have been some guys donning the blue and white who only made fans cringe.
10) Jon Koncak
A true gem for any card collector
Jon "The Contract" Koncak made his name (if such a thing could even be said) as an overpaid player for the Atlanta Hawks. Though he "only" got paid $13.1 million for six seasons with the Hawks at the time of his signing in 1989, the league minimum salary was only one-quarter what it is now.
How bad was his contract? It actually paid him more than Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
Koncak's averages the year before the signing of the massive contract were 4.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in just 20.7 minutes per night.
By the time he got to the Magic in 1995-96, people realized he was a joke, but the joke persisted, as he posted 3.0 points per game while playing nearly 20 minutes a night.
His career averages of 4.5 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game have to turn the stomachs of guys who work much harder to play in the NBA and never make a fraction of what Koncak made.
9) Danny Schayes
Note: Stylish Oakleys
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Danny Schayes had one good thing going for him during his NBA career: He sported cool-looking Oakleys as protective wear for his eyes. Really, that's the only thing I can come up with that was halfway memorable about the guy.
The son of NBA legend Dolph Schayes, Danny's path to the NBA was cut before him, and it was clear that his only merit as a player was being 7'0" tall. That enabled him to somehow carve a career out of it. He could shoot the ball halfway decently for a center, but so can many D-leaguers today.
At the very most, he would be Brian Scalabrine without the dynamic and hilarious personality.
He had some decent years in Denver in the late '80s, so maybe at his peak he could have been a backup. However, by the time he got to the Magic, he was shooting close to or under 40 percent from the floor all three seasons and not even grabbing rebounds despite his size (three rebounds or fewer per game).
8) Adonal Foyle
Foyle spent more time reading than playing basketball.
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I realize Adonal Foyle's value as a basketball mind, and at one time he was a decent defensive player. He just wasn't by the time the Orlando Magic got a hold of him.
Foyle didn't cost the Magic as much as he did the Golden State Warriors, who waived him with $29.2 million on his contract with three remaining seasons.
He signed for the veteran minimum contract with the Magic, but wasn't even worth that.
Foyle posted a career average of 4.1 points per game yet got paid (over his career) like someone who averaged four times that. He's a very respectable and intelligent person. But Foyle wasn't much of a player, and other than blocking some shots, he offered very little return on the dollar.
7) Jeryl Sasser
A rather poignant picture of Sasser.
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Jeryl Sasser was drafted 22nd overall in the 2001 NBA draft and was billed to fans as a defensive stopper. He was sold as a guy who could develop into a nice 6'6" over-sized point guard. It was thought that he could cover some of the bigger floor generals in the league.
The problem with that was that the guy couldn't even handle the ball well enough to play any position, never mind point guard. During a preseason game, he failed to advance the ball past half court on three consecutive possessions due to backcourt pressure, and was yanked from the game.
That only set the precedent for what was to come of Sasser's career. The only thing Sasser seemed good at was dribbling the ball off his foot or making errant passes.
He played only seven games in his rookie season, but in 2002-03 saw 13.7 minutes of time a night in 75 games. He posted 2.6 points per game over that span, which even per-36 only works out to a little over six points.
And that defensive ability?
It never really showed either.
Sasser was probably the worst first-round pick in Magic history because he could have been taken late in the second round, and the reach was in no way substantiated by his play up to that point.
He came out of Southern Methodist University, where he somehow was able to succeed on the D-1 level, posting as many as 18.7 points in his sophomore season.
An absolutely terrifying coincidence here is that Sasser came from the same school as Koncak, mentioned earlier in this slideshow.
6) Isaac Austin
Isaac Austin came in with high hopes
Isaac "Ike" Austin appeared to be on the verge of becoming a second-tier type center, a guy who wasn't quite on the level of the superstars, but someone who could start and do a pretty solid job. For some reason, once he received a decent payday, he just stopped showing up (it happens all the time, of course).
In the 1997-98 season, he posted 15.2 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game with the L.A. Clippers, but the next year with the Magic, those numbers were nearly halved.
He failed to score double-digit points, despite getting 25 minutes a game, and his desire and effort just vanished as his field-goal percentage dipped from a respectable 45.4 percent with the Clips to a putrid 40.8 percent with the Magic.
How does a center whose living is made around the hoop shoot that kind of percentage? The answer is simple: not trying.
5) Daniel Orton
Will Daniel Orton See any time in OKC?
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Daniel Orton was billed as the kind of player who was a knee injury away from being a lottery pick. Well, I think other GMs knew it was more than knee injuries that would prevent Orton from having a quality NBA career.
I watched Orton prior to games working on his jumper and moves around the basket, and the guy does have skills. He just never saw much court time.
Then, the Magic decided not to pick up the option on Orton's contract on January 25th, 2012.
I still felt he had a place on an NBA roster mainly due to his physical gifts. It just wasn't going to happen in Orlando.
Orton just doesn't seem to have the mental capacity to succeed in the NBA, and didn't even know why he wasn't playing when asked about his knee injury. Despite being listed as "INJ-knee," he claimed his knee was fine and he was ready to go.
Even in garbage time, Orton never saw many minutes, as it became abundantly clear the Magic had given up on trying to develop the Kentucky product.
He was playing behind Dwight Howard, but the Magic were so low on his abilities that they preferred to just play power forwards like Glen Davis out of position rather than rely on Orton and his all-too-frequent mental lapses.
He's somehow managed to sign a contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but I don't expect the results to be much different there. I wrote when Orton came into the league that he wouldn't be here three years later. I guess it might just take one more season for that to happen.
4) Mark Acres
This guy is not a basketball player. Please don't be fooled by the picture.
The only thing keeping Marc Acres from being No. 1 in this slideshow is the fact that not much was ever expected of him to begin with. He never belonged in the NBA and his play on a nightly basis showed that—the guy couldn't hit wide-open layups.
I wanted to find some examples of his overwhelming offensive prowess on YouTube, but he was so bad that YouTube users never decided to give him a video. It's a pity, because you're not likely to see any Magic games from their early days on ESPN Classic.
Acres played for the expansion Magic from 1989 until the end of the 1991-92 season, an era in which the team seldom saw national TV coverage.
Acres somehow shot over 50 percent from the floor, but you have to remember that making 50 percent of what equates to only layups and put backs isn't too impressive. By comparison, DeAndre Jordan shoots in the high 60s, because he's able to finish with actual dunks.
Acres, despite standing an inch under seven-foot, couldn't dunk—or at least he almost never did.
Even as a 10-year-old kid, it boggled my mind as to how someone like Acres could get paid to play in the NBA. Truly, I got frustrated watching him blow one easy shot after another, shots I could have connected on myself, notwithstanding the fact I hadn't come close to reaching puberty.
Acres goes down as the worst NBA player I have ever seen.
3) Patrick Ewing
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It might seem out of place to put an NBA legend on a slide how about the most embarrassing players, but that's just it: By the time Ewing got the to the Magic, he was pretty bad.
I remember a couple instances where Ewing was "hung" by the rim attempting wide-open dunks. He'd played long past his prime, was out of shape and then disrespected the fans by wearing No. 6, which was retired in honor of the Magic faithful.
I'm not sure many fans cared, but by comparison, Aaron Afflalo is intentionally not wearing his usual No. 6 just to honor the tradition of that number being retired for the fans. What makes it even worse is that Ewing originally wore No. 33 his entire career, as most already know.
It was a novelty in a way to have a legend like Ewing on the roster, but not so much in the sense that the guy couldn't play anymore.
The Magic have a penchant for signing guys that have nothing left in the tank (see: Dominique Wilkins, Mark Price, the next guy on this slideshow, etc), but that doesn't make it any less embarrassing to see them rapidly declining while trying to remain relevant in the NBA.
Make no mistake, I was a big Ewing fan while he was at his best, but by the time he got to Orlando for his stint in 2001-02, it was downright sad to watch.
2) Shawn Kemp
Back in the mid '90s it would have been his elbow above the rim, instead of his hand below it.
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The Magic brought Shawn Kemp aboard a year after the failed Patrick Ewing experiment, and the results were equally if not more disastrous. Kemp had been out of shape for quite some time, but on the Magic he was well over 300 pounds.
Much like Ewing, Kemp had trouble elevating more than six or eight inches off the floor, which was devastating to see from a guy who used to be able to rip quarters off the top of the backboard. He couldn't run the court either, often huffing and puffing after just a couple minutes of play.
Magic fans kept hoping Kemp would get in shape and return to his former glory, if only a little, but there was no glory in watching Kemp try to play a sport he could no longer even play at a YMCA level.
He was getting paid millions when the Magic could have found better replacements in pickup games…but those guys don't have name-recognition, and by the time Kemp got to the Magic, that was all he had.
1) Gilbert Arenas
A familiar site: Arenas being beaten off the dribble.
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Gilbert Arenas at one point was a top-10 player in the league with the Washington Wizards. Arenas averaged nearly 30 points per game (29.3 in 2005-06) and made three All-Star teams. Then came a huge contract and knee injuries, expelling Agent Zero from elite territory into the realms of the true scrubs.
Arenas had no elevation or lift left in his legs by the time the Magic obtained him from the Wizards in exchange for the also under-performing Rashard Lewis.
The Magic figured they could do no worse than Lewis' lackadaisical efforts, but they were wrong. At least Lewis could still elevate and hit jumpers; Arenas shot set-shots, attempting to masquerade them as actual jumpers.
With the Magic, Arenas shot the worst of any NBA player who averaged more than 20 minutes per game, unleashing a horrid variety of "jumpers" that hit to the clip of 34 percent (!). His inability to move laterally only further showed on the defensive end, yet it was often covered by the brilliance of Dwight Howard.
What makes it worse probably is how excited Magic fans were when Arenas came to town. He had just posted 31 points against the Magic while playing 36 minutes in a game the Wizards only lost by one point on November 27, 2010.
That performance prompted then-GM Otis Smith to trade for his former protege, who he was closely associated with during his time with the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately for Smith, and Magic fans, the Arenas that they obtained was not that same Agent Zero, but more like Agent Worth-Zero.
Like Kemp and Ewing, the only reason Arenas persisted in the league was the name recognition factor—and the fact he had to still play out his enormous contract.
Once his contract expired, Arenas knew he no longer had a home in the NBA. The Memphis Grizzlies gave him one last chance, where he saw only sparse minutes before fizzling out of the league altogether.