David
Years ago

What if Shaq and Penny never left Orlando?

Anfernee Hardaway "I regret that to this day. I regret I ever left Orlando".

Shaquille Oneal "I say to myself. Did I mistake? Because we didn't have the same camaraderie out there (Los Angeles) then we did there (Orlando)"

I read recently that Shaq and Penny have expressed regret for leaving Orlando. ALthough Shaq only hints at it.

What if those two never left. How do you think it would panned out?

I think Orlando would have won a championship but not until Jordan retired after the Bulls dynasty.

Because of Anfernee Hardaways injuries I think he would of still declined, but maybe not as fast because he was playing with Shaq. Any thoughts?

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Ricey  
Years ago

Certainly would have been a force and a contender for a few years at least. Would have been entertaining as hell to watch too

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The Rock  
Years ago

they still wouldve struggled to get past MJ

Reply #467626 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

Shaq-era Magic were still the only team to beat championship-era Jordan in a playoff series.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

What if Orlando never traded Chris Webber!

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David  
Years ago

Nobody was complaining after the trade of Webber because Penny fitted in so well with Shaq. Also Webber took years of maturity before he finally got he's head right with Sacramento. (Demanded a trade, got in trouble with law, suffered numerous injuries etc.)

Anyway that's not what the topic is about. Look I personally thought the East was pretty weak after Bulls left- that time between 1999-2003. I could of seen Shaq and Orlando dominating during that period and would at least made a trip to the NBA finals, maybe even a couple. Hardaway would of still declined but with Shaq attracting the double teams I think Penny would of still contributed.

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The Rock  
Years ago

they got swept if i recall
so when did they beat Chicago?

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David  
Years ago

They got swept by Chicago in the playoffs in 1996. But the Magic beat the bulls 4-2 in the Eastern Conferance semi-finals in 1995. It was the season Jordan returned from baseball and came back to the Bulls mid-season with 17 games left in the regular season.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

In Jordans comeback year, he had only returned part way through the 94'95 season. Famously got a fine for reverting back to the number 23...

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celtic green  
Years ago

Horace Grant got injured in the first game I think of the 96 series; completely changed the complexion of that whole series. Think it would have been much closer if her was there. His mid range game meant they couldn't clog the middle and his ability in defence and on the boards was really underrated. Great player

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Mick  
Years ago

I think this question should be rephrased as, "what if shaq didn't leave for LA in free agency and Penny's career didn't get ruined by injuries".

If Shaq stays, it still doesn't matter because Penny gets hurt.

One of the great "what if" careers ruined by injuries of all time.


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Anonymous  
Years ago

Could we please keep talking what ifs from over 20 years ago. I'm fascinated.

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Gordon Liddy  
Years ago

Orlando probably would not have last long as a title contender even if Shaq hung around after the 1996 season.

Penny probably would have still physically broken down, meaning they would have been in contention for a title for one more season (1997) and that would have been it.

After 1997 it would have been a team with one superstar (Shaq), a former superstar ravaged by injuries (Penny) and a bunch of role players about to begin their career decline (Grant, Anderson, Scott), little cap space and no young talent coming up the ranks.

They would have probably traded Grant, Anderson and Scott around the same time they did and would have got the same pittance in return for them.

The major difference would have been in LA. No Shaq in LA probably means no Phil Jackson joining in 2000 and no titles from 2000-2002. The Lakers Plan B if Shaq didn't sign with them was to go after Juwan Howard. I don't see Juwan Howard plus a developing Kobe Bryant achieving much from 1997-2002.

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Mystro  
Years ago

Dwight Howard ruined being an Orlando Fan.

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David  
Years ago


Interesting I never heard the name Juwan Howard thrown around from the Lakers. I did know that Jerry West was about to give up his chase on Shaq and was going pursue Pacers free agent power forward Dale Davis. But Jerry Buss talked him out of that option and encouraged him to pursue Shaq.

Lakers also had the option of renouncing Elden Campbell at the time to clear space for Shaq. But they went against that option. In hindsight that was a mistake. Campbell is a solid player but him and Shaq were not a right fit.

I think your right on Hardaway. Although he did show he had still something in the tank when he played for phoenix season in 2000. But certainly wasn't the Penny of old.

Hardaway has suggested the NBA today manages injuries better today. He suggests when he played the clubs pressured you to play whether you were ready or not. He blames part of that on his injuries woes.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

"In Jordans comeback year, he had only returned part way through the 94'95 season. Famously got a fine for reverting back to the number 23..."

Jordan was still good enough to drop 55 on the Knicks a few games after coming back from retirement.

Jordan & the Bulls just weren't good enough to beat the Magic in '95, made up for it in '96 though sure.

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David  
Years ago

"Jordan was still good enough to drop 55 on the Knicks a few games after coming back from retirement.

Jordan & the Bulls just weren't good enough to beat the Magic in '95, made up for it in '96 though sure."

Yeah I have never bought into the theory that if Jordan didn't retire the Bulls would of won 8 championships in a row. Sam Smith who is a basketball author and critic who covers the Bulls said it best. That after each of the Bulls three championships - the run was over and Jordan even knew it.

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Steven  
Years ago

Had Hardaway managed to stay injury free and Shaq stuck around then there's a good chance the Magic would've made a couple of trips to NBA finals between 1999 and 2004.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

NBA Open Court had an episode on Teams from the 90s. Teams were scared of what Orlando had!

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Anonymous  
Years ago

If Penny had stayed healthy, would have won a championship or two I think. A couple of others to ponder: Jackson, Mashburn and Kidd in Dallas, and Gill, Mourning and Johnson in Charlotte. I wonder how many of these guys look back in their later years with regrets. I can't remember exactly why the Charlotte team broke up, but Jackson, Mashburn and Kidd couldn't make it work.

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David  
Years ago

From memory Jason Kidd and Jim Jackson fought over singer Toni Braxton. Apparently Kidd was about to go on a date with her and she ended up leaving with Jackson.

Kidd was infuriated and refused to work with Jackson. Kidd then asked to be traded from Dallas as the losing continued.

And GM Don Nelson would come on board and blow the whole team up. From what I read Jim Clemons who was the head coach at the time was against the moves made by Nelson and would later be fired.

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2FAST4U  
Years ago

What if Jordan never had Scotty

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Shaq and Penny started arguing over who was taking shots and what offence should be run as well. So they started to have chemistry issues as well.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Wow. Didn't know the Dallas thing was a soap opera. I also seem to remember Kidd saying at some point he wished he'd never left Dallas, but I could be wrong.

Shaq seems to leave a trail of chemistry issues behind him.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Anon,

Kidd and JJ were a constant soap opera in Dallas through the mid 90's.

Shaq was a great winner and both Penny & then Kobe were jealous of him being the #1 option on offence.

History shows Shaq rightly deserved to be the #1 option at both the Magic & Lakers.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

I wasn't questioning Shaq's ability, but when it happens a few times you have to wonder how much of the blame Shaq should share. Fell out with both Kobe and Penny, then was unpopular by the time he left Miami, and then had that thing in Phoenix where he (reportedly) stole an idea for a TV show from Steve Nash.

I loved watching him play, but it does make you wonder what he was like as a team mate.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Fair enough, yeah he fell out with coach Pat Riley at Miami (never heard anything about a falling out with players there) and yes even though he got along with everyone at Phoenix he supposedly did steal an idea of a TV show from Nash and then had to pay Nash some royalties for it.

Never heard anything about him falling out with anyone at Cleveland or Boston either.

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David  
Years ago


Shaq never ever said there was a feud when he was at Orlando. And the factors were more wanting to play for the Lakers were, (living in a bigger city, more opportunity to make movies and music, and more opportunity endorsements, and bigger contract)

Maybe Shaq banged heads with Brian Hill- but to be fair he wasn't the only one on that Orlando Magic squad who did that.

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David  
Years ago

Alonzo Mourning forced a trade from Charlotte because then owner George Shinn wouldn't agree to giving him a 7 year contract for 100 million.

Larry Johnson wasn't the same after the back injury. And the Hornets were happy to unload his contract after he's career started to decline. I don't think Johnson asked for a trade but I could be wrong on that.

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Mystro  
Years ago

back injuries destroyed Larry Johnson's career. Charlotte had a dope team with Kendall Gill and Mugsey Bogues.

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HoldenV8  
Years ago

What if, what if? Life is full of what ifs.

What if Magic (Johnson, not Orlando) hadn't been injured going into the 1989 NBA Finals? Or what if he hadn't been infected with HIV?

As for Orlando, if Shaq and Penny hadn't left then who knows?

TBH the only what if I want to know about is what if the 36ers beat Perth?

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David  
Years ago

HoldenV8 if you don't like the topic, don't read it. Honestly, your contribution was piss weak.

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tropical booz  
Years ago

What if Luke Longley never went to Bulls? He was a basket case who made a career of setting screens & Rebounding for MJ.

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David  
Years ago

Bullshit!!!! In the 1996 playoffs Longley had to guard Alonzo Mourning in the first round, Patrick Ewing in the second round, Shaq in the Eastern Conference finals, and Shawn Kemp in the NBA finals.

Longley actually played in the Golden Age of Centers- where had a tough match up every night. Rik Smits, Vlade Divac, Dikembe Mutumbo, Hakeem Olajawon, Avedis Sabonis, Rony Seikaly. I would like to see you tropical booz guarding these players.

Longley was never a superstar but probably played in toughest period for a center. Where he had a tough match up every night. Good passer too and with he's big body to clog up the lane he served the Bulls well.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

DAvid...Not understating how valuable lungley was as he played a great role for the Bulls, but i think you will find an undersized rodman gaurded most of the players that you listed and not Longley.

The only time Longley took the centre was if there was a star PF like Utah and Malone. Then he took Ostertag.

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David  
Years ago

No Anon your wrong- get your facts straight. Longley defintiely guarded those centres and I remember him making comments saying he was relieved that it was over when he went to the NBA finals that he wouldn't have to guard another dominant centre.

But Phil Jackson revealed before the series against Seattle he would be putting Longley on Kemp. And Longley said he thought to himself "you bastard". While Dennis Rodman did spent patches guarding Kemp he spent most of the series guarding Frank Brickowski.

Jackson put Longley on Kemp probably because of he's bulk. Brickowski is only 6'9 and a slender build which probably why he thought for Rodman would better to match up on.


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