Thursday, June 16, 2016

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol 3: This Magic Moment

Staying at the Napa Valley Marriott hotel, I watched This Magic Moment on Netflix. This is the eighth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume 3. An episode guide for Vol 3 is here.

The film chronicles the birth and rise to glory of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team. Key points include:
  • the franchise was established in 1989 as an expansion franchise;
  • when the franchise won the first pick in the 1992 NBA Draft Lottery, the Magic selected big-man Shaquille O'Neal from Louisiana State University;
  • against very long odds, the Magic again won the first pick in the 1993 NBA Draft Lottery;
  • with the first pick in the 1993 draft, the Magic selected Chris Webber, but traded him to the Golden State Warriors for the number three pick, guard Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway and three future first-round draft picks.
  • in 1994, All-Star forward Horace Grant was acquired as a free agent from the Chicago Bulls;
  • advancing to the 1994-1995 NBA Finals, the Magic were sweep by a more experienced Houston Rocket team on their way to a second consecutive championship;
  • Orlando met the Bulls in the 1995-1996 Eastern Conference Finals and were sweep out of the play-offs; and,
  • in the summer of 1996, Shaquille O'Neal left the Magic and signed with the Lakers.
Like many of the recent 30 for 30s, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the documentary. I loved the opening and closing sequences with Shaq and Penny sitting around a pool!

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