Ranking Darrell Armstrong's 10 Best Magic Performances
Armstrong will be inducted into Magic Hall of Fame on Feb. 21
ORLANDO – Later this season, Darrell Armstrong will become the ninth individual to be inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame.
The 6-foot guard, who played in 502 regular season games with the Magic from 1995-2003 and averaged 11.7 points, 5.1 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals with the team, will join a prestigious group that includes Rich DeVos, Pat Williams, Jimmy Hewitt, Nick Anderson, Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Tracy McGrady and David Steele.
The ceremony will take place at Amway Center near the Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience on Friday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m., three hours before the Magic host the team Armstrong is an assistant coach with, the Dallas Mavericks.
Armstrong, a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, made history in 1999 when he became the first NBA player to claim the Most Improved Player and Sixth Man of the Year Awards simultaneously.
Before signing a free agent deal with the Magic toward the end of the 1994-95 season, Armstrong played for various minor and international teams. Following his time in Orlando, the now-51-year-old bounced around the league and finished his playing career with the New Jersey Nets in 2008.
Armstrong, who went undrafted out of Fayetteville State University in 1991, had many terrific performances with the Magic. Here are his best 10:
#1 March 15, 1999 vs. Sixers
In one of the wildest finishes in NBA history, Armstrong stole a George Lynch inbounds pass in the final seconds and then beat the buzzer with a game-winning layup against the 76ers.
#2 Feb. 2, 2001 at Sixers
The Sixers were always a team Armstrong played extremely well against. In early February of 2001, the 6-foot guard exploded for a career-best 34 points and added eight rebounds and 13 assists in Orlando’s win over Philly.
#3 Nov. 24, 1999 vs. Mavs
Armstrong had many outstanding performances during Orlando’s Heart & Hustle 1999-00 season. His best one came against Dallas when he erupted for 33 points, dished out 14 assists and collected five steals in the Magic’s victory.
#4 Feb. 7, 2001 vs. Wizards
During the winter of 2001, the Magic won nine straight. Armstrong, who scored in double figures in each of those games, was a big reason for that success. Against Washington on Feb. 7, he had one of the best games of his career, going for 32 points on 10-of-15 shooting overall and 7-of-9 from 3-point range.
#5 Jan. 15, 2001 vs. Bulls
Armstrong caught fire from downtown against the Bulls in January of 2001, drilling six of them as part of his 32-point night.
#6 April 25, 2003 vs. Pistons
One of Armstrong’s best playoff performances with the Magic came in Game 3 of Orlando’s first round series against Detroit when he posted 20 points, six rebounds, eight assists and two steals.
#7 Feb. 14, 2001 vs. Clippers
During the 2000-01 season, Armstrong recorded double-digit assists 15 times, including against the Clippers when he handed out a career-best 16 dimes. He also scored 22 points that night.
#8 Nov. 21, 2001 vs. Timberwolves
Armstrong’s best performance of the 2001-02 season came against the Timberwolves when he tallied 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting overall and 5-of-9 from downtown in Orlando’s victory.
#9 April 5, 1999 vs. Celtics
Twice during the 1999 season Armstrong scored 28 points, including against the Celtics late in the year when he made eight of his 12 shot attempts and four of his seven 3-point tries.
#10 Jan. 19, 1998 at Lakers
Armstrong flirted with a triple-double against Shaq & Kobe’s Lakers, posting a 1997-98 season-best 24 points to go along with eight rebounds and nine assists.