Building the 25th Anniversary Orlando Magic Team

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Building the 25th Anniversary Orlando Magic Team
Fernando Medina/Getty Images
It is no surprise that Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway will be on this team. But where exactly do they rank?

The Orlando Magic are celebrating their first 25 years in the NBA. Let's take this opportunity to compose the 25th Anniversary Orlando Magic Team. We will rank the 12 best players to don the Magic uniform in this past quarter of a century and eventually come up with a starting lineup.

Whenever someone makes a ranked list, it is important to clarify the rudimentary rules on which his selection is based.

In this case, a player qualifies once he has played 200 or more games for the Orlando Magic. It doesn't matter how well he played with other teams—his time in Orlando matters.

Also, his demeanor and work ethic while playing for the team will influence whether he is included and where he ends up in the ranking. Numbers, while important, will not be the exclusive determinator.

The players will be ranked regardless of position. After concluding the list of players, a starting five will be built, taking into account how well they complement each other on the floor.

Of course, any ranking ends up being discussed.

Readers will feel that some players shouldn't be on this list while others should. We all have our own personal favorites, some merely for sentimental reasons. Each list will eventually boil down to personal preferences of the respective author.

That will lead to arguments and sometimes heated discussions.

And that's a good thing because it embodies what is so great about sports: Stats don't tell everything.

If you didn't see Shaquille O'Neal play in Orlando back in the day, you are not able to appreciate just how good and dominant a player he was. If you never witnessed Nick Anderson's steal in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 1995, you can't gauge just how much of an icon he became for the fans. And if you never saw a healthy Anfernee Hardaway, you have no idea what people are still raving about.

That being out of the way, enjoy this take on the 25th Anniversary Orlando Magic Team.

 

All stats taken from NBA.com and basketball-reference.com unless stated otherwise.

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