The expansion of the NBA in the 1989/90 season saw four teams pitched into the battle and the arrival of the Orlando Magic saw Orlando host their first ever professional sports team. This was a great boon for the area and even though it took the team some time to get up to speed and playing like the fans were hoping they would, they started to make their mark. This was good because the team already made its mark on the city with residents and tourists flocking to see the team. Having the opportunity to see some of the biggest names in basketball on your own doorstep or when you are on holiday was too exciting a prospect to miss out on and the Magic were soon playing in front of huge crowds.
However, the real magic started to happen when the Orlando Magic established themselves as a major team in the Eastern Conference with the mid 90s firmly putting the team on the map. The arrival of Shaquille O’Neal in 1992 from Louisiana State University was a special capture and helped the Magic pick up. There was a lot of hype surrounding the talent of O’Neal but he managed to prove this talent right and had an immediate impact on the fortunes of the team. At the end of the 1992/93 season, O’Neal was named the NBA Rookie of the Year, which was definitely fully deserved.
Another successful draft came the following season when Chris Webber came in but was drafted to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for securing the services of Penny Hardaway and future draft picks. The dynamic duo of Hardaway and O’Neal continued the success of the team, taking them to the playoffs in the 1993/94 season and then the NBA finals in the 1994/95 season. A defeat at the hands of the Houston Rockets may have been painful to take but it indicated how far the team had come in a very short space of time.
When O’Neal eventually moved on from the Heat, there was a notable dip in form and of course, expectations. This may have placed a slight dampener on the club but that didn’t last for too long and the Heat fans are definitely backing their team to the hilt once more.
The Amway Center is a magical place to watch basketball and the surrounding areas are perfectly set up to allow basketball fans to have a full day out. If you buy Amway Center tickets, possibly from you are guaranteeing a brilliant day out and one that can please all the family. There is no shortage of food and drink outlets in the surrounding area and there are plenty of places where you can grab prizes and indulge in some fun around the big game. Inside the venue you will love the view and the atmosphere as the Miami Heat look to turn up the heat on their opponent. If you want a brilliant time at the basketball, this is the arena for you.