3. Orlando Magic
In the 90s, the Orlando Magic were considered the team of the future. By winning back-to-back No. 1 overall picks, they’ve created one of the most dominant teams of that era. Orlando had big guards in Nick Anderson and Penny Hardaway, a great shooter in Dennis Scott, and the most dominant big of that era- Shaq. By adding Horace Grant, who left the Bulls in the 1994 off-season, they’ve created almost a perfect starting five.
In the 1995 playoffs, they won against the Bulls and they were the last team to beat MJ and the Bulls in the playoffs during that Chicago run. But Chicago got them back a year later. With Michael Jordan in basketball shape and by adding Dennis Rodman, the Bulls steamrolled Orlando. They’ve swept them in four games in the conference finals.
After that, the Magic would make a horrible mistake during the 1996 post-season. Deciding not to pay the eventual Hall of Famer the enormous payday he desired, Shaq instead took his talents to LA to join forces with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
A loss to the Bulls caused one of the greatest duos in NBA history to part ways with the Magic.
During the 1997 season, Penny got hurt and played only 59 games. Other key guys were injured too: Dennis Scott played in 66, and Nick Anderson in 62 games. Even though they’ve made the playoffs, they’ve lost to Miami in the first round. The year after, Penny suffered another injury and played only 19 games, and D-Scott got traded to Dallas. During that season, a total of 22 players laced shoes for the Magic.
Just two seasons after their meeting with the Bulls, Orlando has missed the playoffs. They wouldn’t become relevant again around 2008, with their core around Dwight Howard becoming better but this was 12 entire years after their loss to the Bulls that sent Orlando spiraling.