Rivers coached the Magic to a 42-40 record with a mediocre squad. Rivers’ best option was a diminutive Darrell Armstrong, a quality sixth man thrust into a role as a full-time starter. A rookie Corey Maggette filled the baselines. A budding defensive stud Ben Wallace sported a corn row haircut and his massive fro. Life was good.
The Magic now have a chance to revive those “heart and hustle” years. It wasn’t a period of time marked by contention, but rather gutsy play that left the O-Rena pleased. Hustle ovations were common. The Magic were a team we wanted to watch.