Courtney Lee, meet Nick Anderson. You may already be familiar with Mr. Anderson, but it may be time to cozy up to Nick "Brick" Anderson in the Orlando Magic history books.
Let's set the stage from Game Two of the 2009 NBA Finals with 0.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 88, and the Magic had the ball on the sideline with a great trick up their sleeve.
Rashard Lewis came up to set a hard screen on Kobe Bryant, which freed up Courtney Lee with a wide-open path to the basket. Hedo Turkoglu made a nearly perfect pass near the rim that hit Lee in stride for an ally-oop layup, but Lee was unable to finish and watched as the ball bounced off the rim.
This perfectly drawn-up play should have given the Magic their first finals victory in team history. Instead, it joins Nick Anderson's botched free throws from the 1995 finals as one of the most heartbreaking moments in franchise history.
Ironically, the Game Two loss came on the 14th anniversary of Orlando's NBA Finals debut in 1995, along with the Nick Anderson free throw debacle. Poised to beat the defending champion Houston Rockets in Game One, the Magic watched Anderson miss four consecutive free throws late in the game and, ultimately, ended up losing by two, 120-118 in overtime.
It seems that this NBA Finals' story has already been written, 14 years ago to be exact, and that the Orlando Magic and their fans can prepare themselves for the same result and disappointment of a four-game sweep. Now, that may be a bit premature, but with Courtney Lee's Nick Anderson moment and the heartache of another Jun. 7 loss, it seems there are no stars for Orlando to wish upon for any different result.
Look on the bright side, Courtney, you will never be forgotten in the city of Orlando and within the Magic Kingdom. Ask Nick; he'll tell you.