The NBA has a lot of stories and sometimes some of them aren’t so happy and have shady backgrounds. When we talk about curses, the league allegedly has several. Recently, we saw one that involves the Orlando Magic and their infamous number one jersey. Jonathan Isaac is the player who currently wears the jersey and he went down with a torn ACL in his left knee.
Isaac is not the first player to suffer a devastating injury during his stay with the Magic. Before him, two players wore that jersey and saw their careers diminished when they look ready to leave a bigger mark on the game and have more honored careers.
Firstly, Penny Hardaway, the big hope for the Magic after Shaquille O’Neal left the team, suffered a knee injury that made him miss 63 games in 1997. After that, he was never the same and more injuries found him during his career, which was very promising.
After Penny, the Magic found a great player in Tracy McGrady, one of the best shooting guards this game has seen but he has a similar fate to Penny. While he was at the top, McGrady started suffering a series of injuries that decreased his level and saw him go from one of the best and most exciting players in the NBA to a bench player.
To make things into perspective, T-Mac was Second Team All-NBA in 2008; two years later, he was playing 35 games and averaging 8.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 3.2 APG. He retired with more grief than glory, knowing that he could’ve been the best player of his generation if his body didn’t give up on him so fast.
If you want to add another name to that list, you can say Gilbert Arenas also suffered from this curse, but he hurt his left knee while he was part of the Washington Wizards in 2007. He went to the Magic in 2010 and wore the #1 jersey, but the damage was already done for him.
The point is, these three players had the potential to be superstars and while some had longer careers than others, it’s clear that they never fulfilled their potential. One expects Isaac doesn’t have the same luck, but history says otherwise.