There are few things better than nostalgia, we all know that. Reliving the glory days will always play, no matter the subject. Well if you're going to talk about basketball, for me there's nothing like the nostalgia of Shaq & Penny. Seeing them reunite last night on TV was awesome. For anyone who was alive in the 90s, that duo and those Magic teams were so goddamn fun. Penny got there in the 1993-94 season and the Magic went from 41-41 to 50-32. In Year 2 they won 57 games and made it all the way to the Finals. It looked like they were going to dominate for years to come. In Year 3 they won 60 games and made it to the ECF. But in a blink of an eye, the era was over. Shaq made his way to LA in the 1996 season, that was the first year Penny's injuries started and things were never the same.
Despite never winning a title, at least for me those Magic teams were one of the more influential teams of that era. They were so damn cool. Not only did they have two dominate players in Shaq and Penny, but their jerseys were absolute fire. Has to be considered one of the all time looks in NBA history.
Now I do have a little issue with what Shaq said during his story about demanding the Magic get Penny or he was leaving. They did just that, the team had success, and he still left. I'm pretty sure he calls leaving Orlando the best decision he ever made. Granted the Magic were stupid and didn't want to pay Shaq, so his hands were pretty much tied at that point. It makes you wonder, what do you think the bigger regret is? Not allowing Tim Duncan's family to be on the plane which ultimately made him stay in SA, or not paying Shaq so they could continue their dynamic duo. It's no guarantee that Penny doesn't still get hurt in 1996, but who knows maybe he doesn't and they finally get over the hump. Then the entire Lakers dynasty doesn't happen, the ripple effects are endless.
All I know is seeing these two back together and hearing stories about their runs in Orlando was just the type of nostalgia I need. If you were too young to remember those days, well thankfully for you the internet exists
I know old people can't stop talking about how much better basketball was in the 90s, and while that may not be totally true there is no denying that Shaq & Penny were one of the best duos to ever do it. So fucking good.