How the Orlando Magic were almost unable to draft Shaquille O'Neal

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Football News

Shaquille O'Neal left his mark on the NBA with an incredible career of physical, dominant basketball. 

It started with the Orlando Magic before moving to the L.A. Lakers and then Miami Heat, but it all could have been so different. 

The Magic were the franchise lucky enough to win the lottery in 1992 and they had eyes for nobody else but Shaq, however, the player's former agent Leonard Armato refused to commit to the organisation despite them having the first pick.

But Orlando got through all of those issues, they were able to secure a meeting with the center and convince him that the Sunshine State was the place to be.

But it almost blew up in their face on draft night. Speaking to ESPN, now-CEO Alex Martins explained how technical issues on the draft night almost saw them miss the pick window.

The franchise was unable to pinpoint exactly what the issue was, but as the minutes ticked down, the nerves began to set in. However, they were able to get it done in time.

"It was getting close,'' Martins recalls. "I think it was down to about 20 seconds. I don't know what they would have done if we didn't get the pick in on time.''

Shaquille O'Neal
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Orlando Magic

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