Stuff the Magic Dragon is the official mascot of the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His name is a play on the Peter, Paul and Mary song "Puff, the Magic Dragon", and the basketball slang term "stuff" (which means to either slam dunk or reject a slam dunk shot).
Stuff the Magic Dragon, described as "the tallest dragon in Orlando's history," was introduced in a giant egg on Church Street in 1989, where Dave Raymond, the original Philly Phanatic, portrayed him for his "birth". He was "originally the Magic's #1 pick in the supplemental dragon back draft, directly out of clown college." Stuff is said to live in the Dragon's Lair at Orlando's Amway Center and has his own play area, "Stuff's Magic Castle" on the promenade level. Many think that Stuff is a copy of the Philly Phanatic, but the two mascots were made by the same company, Acme Mascots (Harrison/Erickson), which made many popular mascots including the retired Yankees mascot "Dandy", the Hornets mascot Hugo, and Montreal's Youppi!. According to original Magic general manager Pat Williams, various other mascot ideas were thrown before the dragon, including a rabbit, a wizard and a magic bean.
Stuff is blue with a large nose; he also has 2 long yellow blowers that go on and out his nose. During the first round of the playoffs against the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010, Stuff jumped down from a bungee during the starting lineup, with his fur a light shade of blue.
Stuff comes out on the court pre-game to do a skit and toss out T-shirts; during the game, he often ventures around in the stand and does more skits during breaks and between quarters. Most skits can be from a trampoline dunk show (by himself or with the Orlando Magic Flight Crew), a pump-up session with giant signs, break-dancing in the middle of the court, or dancing to a song compilation. A special song made for the mascot plays during his entrances. He also makes grand entrances during special events like the playoffs or opening night where he comes down from the rafters on a zip line or bungee. He also has two air-mascot counterparts, Air Stuff and Air Stuff Jr., and has a miniature mascot of him named Mini-Stuff. He gained nationwide popularity when he was featured on "The Tonight Show", hosted by Jimmy Fallon, during a dance off with their mascot, Hashtag the panda, during a week-long special in Orlando.He also made headlines when he proposed to Kate Upton.
Stuff is also the host of the annual "Celebrity Mascot Games" that takes place each year at the Amway Center. Each year, mascots from North America come to Orlando and compete in Olympic-style games while being in different colored teams. The Mascot Games were made for the non-profit organization, "New Hope For Kids", to raise money and attention for them. The games started in 1992 at the old Amway Arena and have continued annually ever since, with exceptions in 2013 (the games took a hiatus due to lack of a new partnership for the company), 2020 and 2021 (due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
During his career, Stuff has been seen with many other sports mascots at numerous mascot-oriented events. Each year, about 4-5 mascots (locally and across the country) come to Orlando and do opportunities for pictures and meet and greets pre-game and during the game. Stuff and his mascot guests also do special skits, which normally include a mascot dunk show, a halftime skit, and a short number from the mascots' air counterparts. .
Stuff has recently received more popularity after the NBA All Star Game's Verizon Slam Dunk Contest, where he assisted Magic player Aaron Gordon during the event.He won the NBA Mascot Conference's Mascot of the Year award in 2016.
The Orlando Magic is an American professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. The Magic compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The franchise was established in 1989 as an expansion franchise, and such notable NBA stars as Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Nikola Vucevic have played for the club throughout its history. As of 2021, the franchise has played in the NBA playoffs 16 times in 32 seasons, and twice went to the NBA Finals, in 1995 and 2009. Orlando has been the second most successful of the four expansion teams brought into the league in 1988 and 1989 in terms of winning percentage and playoff success, after the Miami Heat.
A slam dunk, also simply dunk, is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air, controls the ball above the horizontal plane of the rim, and scores by putting the ball directly through the basket with one or both hands above the rim. It is considered a type of field goal; if successful, it is worth two points. Such a shot was known as a "dunk shot" until the term "slam dunk" was coined by former Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn.
Dwight David Howard II is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is an NBA champion, eight-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA Team honoree, five-time All-Defensive Team member, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
The Phillie Phanatic is the official mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team. He is a large, furry, green bipedal flightless bird with an extendable tongue. According to his official biography, the Phanatic is originally from Highland Park, IL and is the Phillies' biggest fan. He performs various routines to entertain fans during baseball games at Citizens Bank Park and makes public relation and goodwill appearances for the Phillies. The Phanatic is widely acknowledged as one of the best ballpark mascots, and one of the most recognizable mascots in North American sports.
Amway Arena was an indoor arena located in Orlando, Florida. It was part of the Orlando Centroplex, a sports and entertainment complex located in Downtown Orlando. The arena was the former home of the Orlando Magic of the NBA and the Orlando Titans of the NLL. It was also the home of the Orlando Solar Bears of the International Hockey League, and the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. It also hosted many other minor league sports teams, as well as various concerts and other events such as the PlayStation Pro event on the Dew Action Sports Tour and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus annually.
Darrell Eugene Armstrong is a former American professional basketball player, who played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association. He is currently an assistant coach for the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, who won the championship in the 2010–11 season.
The NBA Slam Dunk Contest is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) competition held during the NBA All-Star Weekend. The contest was inaugurated by the American Basketball Association (ABA) at its All-Star Game in 1976 in Denver, the same year the slam dunk was legalized in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. As a result of the ABA–NBA merger later that year there would not be another slam dunk contest at the professional level until 1984. The contest has adopted several formats over the years, including, until 2014, the use of fan voting, via text-messaging, to determine the winner of the final round.
Benny the Bull, commonly known as Benny, is the mascot of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Chicago Bulls, a role he has filled since 1969.
A. C. Green Jr. is an American former professional basketball player. Nicknamed "Iron Man", he holds a National Basketball Association (NBA) record for most consecutive regular-season games played with 1,192. Green played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. He found most success with the Lakers, with whom he won three championships in 1987, 1988 and 2000, and was named an NBA All-Star in 1990.
DeShawn Stevenson is an American former professional basketball player. Stevenson played for six teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) during a 13-year career. He originally committed to play at the University of Kansas, but decided to enter the NBA directly from high school and was picked by the Utah Jazz with the 23rd selection of the 2000 NBA draft. He was a member of the Dallas Mavericks team that won an NBA championship in 2011. In 2017, Stevenson joined Power, one of the eight BIG3 basketball league teams.
The 1999–2000 NBA season was the 54th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA championship, beating the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 2 in the 2000 NBA Finals. This would also be Charles Barkley’s final season in the NBA.
DeCovan Kadell "Dee" Brown is an American retired professional basketball player who spent twelve seasons (1990–2002) in the National Basketball Association (NBA), playing for the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and Orlando Magic. His daughter Lexie Brown plays for the Chicago Sky of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
The 1989–90 NBA season was the 44th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons winning their second NBA Championship, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals.
Amway Center is an indoor arena located in Downtown Orlando. The arena is home to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, and the Orlando Predators of the National Arena League.
The 1999–2000 NBA season was the Raptors' fifth season in the National Basketball Association. The Raptors received the fifth overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft from the Denver Nuggets, and selected high school star Jonathan Bender, but soon traded him to the Indiana Pacers for Antonio Davis, and signed free agents Muggsy Bogues and three-point specialist Dell Curry. In their first full season playing at the Air Canada Centre, the Raptors got off to a 12–6 start, but then lost five of their next six games. However, the team got better as the season progressed, winning seven straight games between February and March. Second-year star Vince Carter led the team in scoring, averaging 25.7 points per game. He also won the Slam Dunk Contest in Oakland and was selected for the 2000 NBA All-Star Game, while his cousin Tracy McGrady provided the team with 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. The Raptors improved and qualified for their first playoff appearance with a 45–37 record, finishing third in the Central Division. However, in the postseason, they were swept in the Eastern Conference First Round by the New York Knicks in three straight games. Following the season, McGrady was traded to the Orlando Magic, Doug Christie was dealt to the Sacramento Kings, Dee Brown signed as a free agent with the Magic, and head coach Butch Carter was fired.
The 2009 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) 2008–09 season. The best-of-seven playoff was contested between the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers, and the Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic. The Lakers were favored to win the championship over the Magic. The Lakers defeated the Magic, four games to one, to win the franchise's 15th NBA championship. The 63rd edition of the championship series was played between June 4 and June 14 and was broadcast on U.S. television on ABC.
The 2012 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game that was played on February 26, 2012, during the National Basketball Association's (NBA) 2011–12 season. It was the 61st edition of the NBA All-Star Game, and was played at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, home of the Orlando Magic. The Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 152–149. Kevin Durant was named the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player.
DeQuan Jones is an American professional basketball player for Nishinomiya Storks of the Japanese B.League. He played college basketball for the University of Miami.
Aaron Addison Gordon is an American professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one year of college basketball for the University of Arizona before being selected by the Magic with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Gordon has gained notoriety as one of the all-time greatest competitors in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest; In 2016, he lost a close matchup to Zach LaVine, and in 2020 he narrowly lost to Derrick Jones Jr.
Anfernee Tyrik Simons is an American professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played prep basketball for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He is the first American to enter and be selected in an NBA draft directly after graduation from high school since the league first implemented age restriction rules in 2005. Simons won the Slam Dunk Contest during the 2021 NBA All-Star Game event by a 3-2 judges decision.