The Magic open their home season tonight and celebrate their 25th anniversary as a franchise, welcoming back Tracy McGrady to tip off their “Night Of Legends” program.

It’s a nice gesture to honor the past, no matter how untidy it was. Now the Magic can also make something else right:

They can retire Nick Anderson’s jersey.

No. 25 should go in the rafters some time this season.

Overshadowed as a player by the likes of Shaq and Penny, Anderson should no longer be overlooked by this franchise.

I’ve been on this stump before. The Magic have privately told me in the past that they wanted their first retired number to be truly special.

Well, Shaq and Penny and T-Mac were all special. And there apparently is no rush to run their jersey up a high wire.

Shaq and T-Mac stayed only four years each, and had tumultuous exits. Penny was around a little longer, but he had worn out his welcome after a player coup got Brian Hill fired.

Anderson never wanted to leave, but was traded in a rebuild after 10 years with the club.

He was the Magic’s first draft pick. He played in the shadow of Michael Jordan and Joe Dumars (but who wouldn’t?), and hence, never was named an all-star. But Nick became the Magic’s all-time leading scorer and held that distinction until Dwight Howard came around years later to break the record.

I don’t know if there was a falling out between Nick and the Magic at some point. Nick could be moody as a young player. It took him a while before the franchise let him back in the family -- or had a place for him -- as a community ambassador, a title he has held for the last six seasons.

Anderson’s loyalty to be the Magic is above reproach.

He loves the Magic; they should love him back.

It’s a touch awkward for one of the best players in club history to promote a franchise that seemingly doesn’t fully recognize his accomplishments.  

Anderson has been retired from basketball since 2002.

It’s time.

Past time, actually.

In this season of honoring past greats and forgiving their unsightly exits… it’s time that the club makes this right, corrects this omission, amends this oversight, in their 25th anniversary season.

Time to retire Nick’s No. 25.

Brian Schmitz is the Magic Insider for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him at And you can follow him on Twitter at