Will Shaq be back?
The Magic hope so. As part of their seasonlong celebration of their 25th anniversary as an NBA franchise, the club is planning on inviting Shaquille O'Neal to be recognized before a game.
That's the same Shaq who left the Magic for the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 1996 as a free agent.
No player – well, maybe Dwight Howard – elicits a more emotional response from the Magic's fan base than O'Neal.
The franchise also realizes that Shaq – the club's first-round pick in 1992 – led the Magic to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1995.
The Magic will tip off their "Legends Night" program before their home-opener Nov. 1 against New Orleans when they honor former star Tracy McGrady.
The Magic are embracing their past as well as their future, planning to invite other former stars to town, such as Penny Hardaway.
They also will acknowledge active alumni who play or coach now for other teams.
In the opening month of November, for example, New Orleans coach Monty Williams, a former Magic forward, and power forward Ryan Anderson, face the Magic in the home-opener.
On Nov. 6, L.A. Clippers coach Doc Rivers, former Magic coach, and shooting guard J.J. Redick, come to town to take on their former team.
The Magic are currently in the midst of conducting a "25 events in 25 days" promotion.
Some of the 25th anniversary highlights this season include:
X As part of its Silver Ticket Sweepstakes and Scratch Off Promotion ( instant winners are chosen among the first 4,000 fans through the doors for 38 home games), five people will be randomly selected and one winner will be awarded a grand prize on April 5, 2014. The winner will receive, among other things, a two-year lease on a BMW 320i from Fields BMW and a 7-night stay at Marriott's Timber Lodge Resort in Lake Tahoe, Ca.
X -Sunday is being billed as "Sunday Family Magic" where a family can get four tickets, four personal Papa John's pizzas, four Pepsi's and four front-of-the-line passes for kids to shoot lay-ups on the floor, the package starting as low as $89 (the Magic franchise started in 1989).
X Today: The Magic participate in Festival Calle Orange with the Magic Dancers and Stuff the mascot.
X Tuesday: Taco Tuesday Takeover at Wall Street, featuring a dance contest and ticket giveaways.
X Wednesday: FOX Sports Florida Watch Party, the Magic will partner with FOX Sports Florida and 580ESPN Radio to host a Magic-Timberwolves watch party.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun