The Orlando Magic are probably the last team in the league who needs to have another depressing stat under their name, and yet, they earned one again. No one can simply escape the very observant hoop fans on Reddit. Here’s user goobergoofer sharing the unflattering trivia on the NBA subreddit:
“The Orlando Magic were the only team to not have a player participate in any of the All-Star weekend events
All other teams had at least one player in one of the events, Orlando did have Aaron Gordon but he got injured.”
Aaron Gordon, the controversial runner-up of the 2016 Slam Dunk contest who underperformed in his return last year, was scrapped out of Saturday’s event due to a hip injury. With all the creativity he has previously showcased, he was seen as the favorite had he not gotten sidelined. His replacement, Utah Jazz’s rising rookie, Donovan Mitchell, won the competition, but based on the general quality of dunks we saw on Saturday, it's fair to say that the Magic forward likely would have blown the competition away if he joined.
Outside of their high-flying forward, though, the Magic still have talent that can be argued to have a spot in the All-Star Weekend. Their latest lottery pick, the long, defensive-minded Jonathan Isaac, could've been part of the Rising Stars challenge if not for missing significant time courtesy of an ankle injury.
The athletic and flair-filled dunker Jonathon Simmons and the sharpshooting Evan Fournier, meanwhile, both have the skills to compete in the Slam Dunk and 3-point shootout events, respectively. In fact, Fournier's 38.4 shooting percentage from beyond the arc this season is higher than the eventual 3-point champion, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker. With or without an All-Star, the Magic head to the second half of the season looking to right their ship after going only 18-39 in their first 57 games of the season.