Orlando Magic Unveil 30 Years of Pure Magic

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

ORLANDO - To commemorate 30 years of NBA basketball in Central Florida, the Orlando Magic unveiled a logo that will honor their past and blue, throwback jerseys that harken to some of the franchise’s glory days in the mid-90s.

The commemorative logo and Nike Classic Edition jerseys tip off what will be a season-long celebration of the Magic’s 30th season in existence. Co-founders Pat Williams and Jimmy Hewitt convinced the NBA’s expansion committee to award Orlando an NBA franchise on April 22, 1987 and the Magic played their first regular-season game on Nov. 4, 1989 – a 111-106 home loss to the then-New Jersey Nets at Orlando Arena.

In the 29 seasons since, the Magic have made two appearances in the NBA Finals (1995 and 2009), won two Eastern Conference titles and five division crowns and notched seven 50-win seasons. Off the court, the Magic have donated $2 million annually to the community through sponsorship of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise and grants.

``The Orlando Magic are thrilled to celebrate 30 years of Pure Magic with all of our fans and the great City of Orlando,’’ Magic CEO Alex Martins said. ``The team’s history and identity is deeply rooted in this city and the Central Florida region. We want to thank all of our fans for all of their support and making all these great Magic memories and moments possible. We look forward to sharing this celebration with them.’’

The commemorative logo, featuring a large ``30,’’ is a nod to the franchise’s birth year in 1989 and it incorporates the original iconic basketball with cascading stars in the design.

The primary differences in the jerseys worn this season compared to the ones used from 1994-98 is that the current models will have a Nike swoosh on the right chest plate and a sponsorship logo for Disney on the upper right side. The waistline of the shorts will be trimmed in black and white and in the center will feature another classic Magic logo with silver stars dotting the `i’ and replacing the `a.’ Also making a return: The large, eye-catching silver stars on each side of the shorts.

Numerous news articles and blogs through the years have tabbed the Magic’s uniforms worn during the mid-90s as some of the most fashionable in sports’ history. It didn’t hurt that those uniforms were being worn by Magic legends such as Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Horace Grant, Nick Anderson, Dennis Scott and Darrell Armstrong. O’Neal, Hardaway and Anderson have since been inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame.

The uniforms worn from 1994-98 came during some of the franchise’s most successful times as Orlando made the playoffs three times during that four-season stretch. Orlando won 57 regular-season games in 1994-95 and reached the NBA Finals, while the 1995-96 squad won 60 regular-season games before losing in the Eastern Conference Finals.

This season’s squad, which will be led by new coach Steve Clifford, opens training camp on September 25. Preseason games begin on Oct. 1 (in Philadelphia) and the Magic will make their Amway Center debuts on Oct. 5 against Flamengo, a professional team from Brazil.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors.