The evolution of the Magic uniform is a story of iconic designs, featuring the classic pinstripes and stars of the team. The blue, white and black have been ever present, whilst along the way there have been a few curve balls as well.
It is the time of year when new kits are released. Around the world of NBA fandom it leads to talk about the best and worst ever, discussion on the new incarnations and speculation for the future.
So follow us as we go through the history and evolution of the Magic uniforms.
In The Beginning
1989 saw the NBA expand and the Orlando Magic came into their opening season in what has become a classic look.
1989 – 1998 Home
The home uniform in white with black pinstripes featured “MAGIC” across the chest in blue lettering. The “A” and dot of the “I” were replaced by a silver star. The design remained unchanged between 1989 and 1998.
Iconic moments came in this kit. No Magic fan can forget Nick Anderson’s steal on Michael Jordan. There was the game 7 win over the Indiana Paces in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. And finally Penny Hardaway going back-to-back 40 plus scoring on the Miami Heat in the 1997 playoffs.
1989 – 1994 Road And Alternate 1994 – 1998
The original road jersey is widely considered one of, if not the best jersey the Magic have ever worn. Black with white pinstripes, “Orlando” across the chest in white lettering and the “A” replaced by a silver star. Blue numbers with a white border gave the jersey a timeless, clean look. Between 1994 and 1998 it was further worn as our alternate third strip.
Wearing this uniform Nick Anderson scored 50 points on the same night that Shaq brought down the basket in 1993 at New Jersey.
1994 – 1998 Road Blue
The Magic replaced the black pinstripes as the road uniform with their first blue strip in 1994. Blue with white pinstripes, the jersey featured a star replacing the “A” of Orlando. This kit along with the words and numbers had a black border.
This was the uniform worn during the 1995 playoff run. The game 4 win in Boston, along with eliminating Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the Conference semi-finals were the iconic moments of this incarnation of the uniform.
The 1998 Rebrand
The rebrand saw the pinstripes go and the font of the “MAGIC” across the jersey chest altered. The alternate ball logo was featured on the centre of the shorts waistband.
Home White Threads 1998 – 2000
White remained constant as the home colour. The uniform had shadowed white stars in the background of the material. The border to the kit was coloured black and blue.
Probably the most iconic moment in this uniform was Darrell Armstrong making a steal and game winning lay-up against the Philadelphia 76ers in 1999.
1998 – 2000 Blue Road
The road jersey in blue was almost identical in detail to the home white threads. The stars spread across the background of the jersey and shorts were more visible than on the home kit. The major difference to this road uniform was that “MAGIC” was across the chest and not “ORLANDO”.
The “Heart and Hustle” season was played in this blue road kit. It was also the jersey worn on January 2nd 2000 in Miami when the U.K.’s own John Amaechi scored the NBA’s and Orlando’s first points of the new millennium.
The New Logo 2000 – 2003
There was little difference between the old uniforms and this new edition. The most striking difference was the arrival of the comet ball swoosh logo.
2000 -2003 Home White
Think of this uniform and you instantly think Tracy McGrady. In the white he put up 50-plus points against both Chicago and Washington.
Blue For The Road 2000 -2003
Again this jersey is associated with T-Mac. On April 20 and 23, 2003 at Detroit came two career playoff performances in back-to-back games during the 2003 Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pistons. The first was in Game 1, notching 43 points in a Magic win. In Game 2, McGrady registered a postseason career-high of 46 points.
The Evolution Of The Magic Uniform: 2003 -2008 A New Look
Home Uniform 2003 – 2008
As had always been white was the chosen colour for the home strip in this new look. The lettering across the chest was a lighter blue and in a block capital font. The silver star no longer featured in the lettering but was now at the neckline. On the side of each leg of the shorts could be seen the comet ball logo. A blue trim ran up and down each side of the kit and around the neckline.
Tracy McGrady scored 62 points against the Washington Wizards in 2004 wearing this uniform, a team point scoring high that still stands. Steve Francis hit a game-winner against the Bucks in his regular season debut game in 2005. In the 2008 playoffs against the Raptors Dwight Howard put up three 20-20 performances.
2003 -2008 On The Road In Blue
The only difference between the white home uniform and this blue road one was that the jersey saw “ORLANDO” emblazoned across the chest.
Orlando gained an important road win against Toronto in Game 4 of the 2008 playoff series wearing this uniform.
The Evolution Of The Magic Uniform: The Adidas Rebrand
Pinstripes returned but gone was the previously ever present silver star.
2008 – 2017 Home
A white uniform remained the Magic’s home court look, with “MAGIC” in blue over silver pinstripes. A wide black panel ran down the sides of the shirt and shorts. The comet logo was situated on the rear of the jersey, above the player’s name. “Orlando” was on the waistline at the back of the shorts.
Over so many years of use there were many highlights for the team wearing this uniform. The Magic smashing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals had to be the biggest. There was also the highlight of Nikola Vucevic burying a game-winning buzzer-beater against the Lakers in 2015.
Road Uniform 2008 – 2017
The blue road strip was almost identical to the white home uniform. Aside from the colour the most obvious difference was that “ORLANDO” replaced “MAGIC” on the chest. The reverse swap was made on the shorts wording. Silver pinstripes ran down the length of the kit.
Aaron Gordon wore this uniform for his incredible 2016 Dunk Contest against Zach LaVine. However the highlight of this period of Magic history has to be Hedo Turkoglu’s three-point winning shot in Philadelphia during the 2009 Playoffs.
The Black Alternate Threads 2010 – 2017
As with the home and road uniforms these black alternatives had little variation. Silver pinstripes again ran through the kit and as with the blue road jersey “ORLANDO” was emblazoned across the chest. The only other variation here was that on these there was no emblem on the back of the shorts.
In 2013 on the road at Portland Jameer Nelson became the team’s all-time leader in assists wearing this kit.
The Evolution Of The Magic Uniform – Nike Take Over
At the start of the 2017-18 season Nike took over as the manufacturer of all NBA uniforms. If it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it and for Orlando little changed, the designs keeping to a classic look. The rebrand saw the designations of uniforms for home, road and alternate go. These were replaced by the titles of Association, Statement and Icon. This was also the start of Disney sponsoring the Magic jersey, a corporate patch being present upon the left side of the chest.
White Association Uniform – 2017 To Present
As has always been the primary jersey for the Magic kept the white of years gone by with vertical silver pinstripes. “MAGIC” adorned the chest in blue lettering above the player number, bordered by a silver outline. The shorts featured the comet ball logo on either side at the hem. “ORLANDO” sits at the waistband. A pair of blue stripes ran the length of the kit, outlining a black side panel.
In this white Association uniform on April 7th 2019 Nikola Vucevic produced his 60th double-double of the 2018-19 season. It was a night that saw Orlando break their seven year postseason absence beating the Boston Celtics in the TD Gardens 116-108.
2017 – 2019 Blue Icon Edition
Nike gave the blue jersey a classic look. As we have seen to be so often the case in looking at the evolution of the Magic uniform the differences between the white and blue looks were minimal. Again the jersey and shorts had the words “MAGIC” and “ORLANDO” switched.
In Black For A Statement (2017 – 2019) And As An Icon (2019 – Present)
On release in 2017 this black uniform was known as the Statement edition. At the start of the 2019-20 season the look was renamed as the Icon uniform. As with the other two uniforms released for 2017-18 the black featured pinstripes, but here they are in blue. On the jersey are white numbers, with the chest reading “ORLANDO”. It is described by the Orlando Magic press release as “representing strength, power and confidence, and stands for boldness every time the Magic step on the court”.
The most iconic moment of this uniform being worn came on April 13th 2019 as DJ Augustin scored 25 points, including the game winning 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left as the Magic beat the Toronto Raptors 104-101 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round playoffs.
The Blue Statement Edition Of The 2019-20 Season
The 2019-20 Statement Edition uniform was said to be a “new take on an old tradition”. There were certainly plenty of looks back to what has gone before. The strong blue colour, was joined by several iconic elements of the team’s history. Present were the pinstripes, being featured on the sides of the jersey and through a solid black band on the shorts. A Magic star proudly sat on the side of the shorts. Whilst not necessarily a fan favourite it certainly contained many of the traditional elements.
Jordan Brand Statement Edition 2020 To 2023
The Nike swoosh was gone and the Jordan “Jumpman” logo replaced it. Other than that it was identical to what had been for the season before. This uniform was said to represent “toughness, perseverance and strength”.
The Evolution Of The Magic Uniform – City And The Special Editions
2011 – 2014 Noche Latina
In 2011 is was announced that the Magic would join the NBA’s Noche Latina by wearing new jerseys reading El Magic across the chest in March. Orlando remain involved with the annual event.
2014 – 2017 Pride Uniform
Adidas produced this silver/grey sleeved jersey with white pinstripes running through it and the shorts. There were blue-and-white stripes running from top to bottom along the sides. The Pride uniform featured the team name in blue, over blue numbers on the front. The jersey also had vertical blue panels flanking the team name, wrapping around to the player name on the back. The player’s name was in black above blue numbers. The Magic said the colour alluded to steel, a “rigid, unbending and relentless symbol of unity.” It also honoured the silver of the Magic star from previous years.
Worn on select nights through this period, it was often the uniform for Friday night games in the Amway Center. In this kit Victor Oladipo had a 45 point game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
2016/17 Stars Edition
This season long uniform was a carbon coloured one. It featured a panel of two thick blue bands sandwiching a white one horizontally across the jersey chest and hem of the shorts. On the chest between the panel is the comet ball logo. The iconic star also made a return to both sides of the shorts.
The Orlando Magic headed into space with the first incarnation of the City uniform from Nike. The press release at the time stated it was a celebration that “MAGIC EXISTS IN THE SOLAR SYTEM”. The deep blue kit had purple hues and white flecks, as if looking up at a deep night sky. The team logo first introduced in 2000 of a blue and silver basketball arched with a trail of stars was on the jersey front and centre.
To mark their 30th anniversary the Magic launched a blue retro jersey featuring white pinstripes and the classic logo. It was a nearly identical version of the blue road jersey the team wore from 1994 to 1998 (if you ignore the corporate logos). Featuring proudly was the old school Magic logo along the waistband.
Wearing this uniform Aaron Gordon emulated NBA legend Karl Malone with a ‘Mailman’ alley-oop dunk off a DJ Augustin pass against the Detroit Pistons.
2018/19 City Uniform
The Magic’s 2018/19 City Edition uniform was said to “celebrate Orlando as a city of dreamers”. The jersey kept the ball swoosh logo front and centre. The side panel featured a cosmic look to continue with the space theme of the previous year.
This was the fifth uniform for the season and made its debut on November 14th, when the Magic hosted the Philadelphia 76ers.
2019/20 City Edition
A rebrand was launched for the City look for the 2019/20 season. Gone was the space theme and in came the long rumoured orange. The uniforms honoured Central Florida’s ties to the citrus industry. A dark grey (anthracite) base featured orange lettering and trim. The team’s comet logo appeared on either leg of the shorts. In the centre of the jersey chest the design featured an “ORL” abbreviation with the player number below.
In some ways it is sad that the highlight moment of this uniform was in defeat for Aaron Gordon at the 2020 NBA All Star Weekend Dunk Contest, putting up 5 consecutive perfect 50 scoring dunks before controversially losing the contest.
The City Edition for 2020/21 was a classic white jersey, featuring pinstripes in orange. The jersey had a large orange ORL with a dark grey (almost black) star boldly emblazoned across the front. The number was orange with a black outline, which tied into the trim on the neck and sleeve ribbing. Both the Disney and Nike logo’s are also in the grey/black.
In this incarnation of the uniform Cole Anthony hit his 3-pointer buzzer beater for the win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Earned Edition 2020/21
The Earned Edition uniform did not debut until the Magic played the Pacers on April 9 2021. It was the fifth uniform for the season. An “Earned” kit was exclusive to teams who went to the 2020 NBA Playoffs. This was a classic white uniform, that featured the comet ball icon to the centre of the chest. A cascade of classic Magic stars were within a blue panel running vertically down the side of the jersey and shorts.
2021/22 City Uniform
Orlando Magic’s Nike City Edition uniform for 2021/22 again referenced the area’s orange roots (sunshine and citrus) and incorporated the team’s classic pinstripes. Featuring a throwback “Magic” script on the front of the jersey there was also the iconic star. The pinstripes were the words “WHY NOY US? WHY NOT NOW?” These words come from the Magic’s late Chairman Rich DeVos and we’re used as the team’s mantra in the ’90s. The comet ball logo is also partially featured on the side panel. The neck and arm taping is that of the team’s original jersey.
What Is The Future For The Evolution Of The Magic Uniform?
The evolution of the Magic uniform is one we all love to watch and debate. Rumours abound of a future rebrand for the team, but at this point they are just that; rumours. However as fans most of us hope there is a return to the original look and classic logo.
What is certain is that the Magic will have a new City uniform for the 2022/23 season. Again there is no confirmation of any design at this moment. What is widely believed is that the orange theme is gone and a black colour scheme is rumoured.
Furthermore; as yet there is no confirmed Statement blue uniform for the 2022/23 season. This could mean that a reveal is in the pipeline as the evolution of the Magic uniform continues.
Remember, wherever you go always represent! Visit the Official NBA Store Europe or Fanatics UK to shop the latest NBA gear and Orlando Magic merchandise including jerseys, shorts and t-shirts, available with international delivery. And do not forget to use our discount code MAGICUK10 at the checkout for 10% off your entire order. The code is not limited to Magic gear, being a site-wide discount but please note that some exclusions may apply.
For some different Magic related gear there is also our recently launched Orlando Magic UK fans apparel store.
When visiting Orlando be sure to stop by the official team store at the Amway Center, which opens for business outside of the season. This is the only place to buy a Magic jersey with the Disney sponsorship patch upon it.