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Nick Anderson
Shooting guard/Small forward
Born January 20, 1968 (1968-01-20) (age 41)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 205 lb (93 kg)
College Illinois
Draft 11th overall, 1989
Orlando Magic
Pro career 1989–2002
Former teams Orlando Magic (1989–1999)
Sacramento Kings (1999–2001)
Memphis Grizzlies (2001–2002)

Nelison "Nick" Anderson (born January 20, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois) is a retired American professional basketball player. He spent thirteen years in the NBA beginning in 1989, most of them with the Orlando Magic. He ended his career in 2002.

Contents

NBA career

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Orlando Magic

Anderson left school and entered the NBA Draft in 1989, where he was selected with the eleventh pick of the first round by the Orlando Magic. As the Magic were an expansion team that season, Anderson was the first draft pick in franchise history

Like most expansion franchises, the Magic struggled for several seasons, and as a result were awarded high draft picks in several consecutive years, including Dennis Scott in 1990, Shaquille O'Neal in 1992, and Penny Hardaway in 1993. In his first few seasons, Anderson was the Magic's top scoring option, and led the team in points per game during the 1991-92 season. As the team's talent level increased, Anderson was gradually relegated to a lesser offensive role, but remained a consistent member of the team's starting lineup. In 1994-95, Anderson led Orlando in three-pointers with 179, and averaged 15.9 points per game. The Magic won 57 games, finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference, and won their first ever Atlantic Division title.

1994-95 Postseason

Game One of the NBA Finals was against the defending champion Houston Rockets, at the Orlando Arena. With the Magic up by three points late in the game, Anderson, typically a 70% free throw shooter, missed four consecutive free throws that could have sealed the victory for Orlando. Kenny Smith hit a three-pointer for Houston shortly thereafter, tying the game and sending it to overtime. The Rockets went on to win the game in overtime and eventually swept the Magic, winning their second consecutive NBA Championship. As a result of this incident, some Orlando fans began to label Anderson with the derogatory nicknames of "Nick the Brick" and "Brick Anderson".

Post-1995 Career

Two seasons after the 1995 finals, Anderson's career took an abrupt downward spiral, largely due to a sudden inability to shoot free throws, and he even suffered an injury in Game 3 of the conference finals in a rematch against the Bulls and was out for the season. During the 1996-97 season, Anderson free throw shooting percentage tumbled to a career-low 40.4% and his scoring average to 12.0 points per game. Anderson had to be removed from the closing minutes of several close games due to being undependable at the charity stripe.

His struggles worsened through the first half of the 1997-98 season. Through January 27 of that season, Anderson was averaging only 6.5 points per game, and shooting a paltry 36.3% from the free throw line. However, in the second half of the season, Anderson experienced a sudden career revival, as his scoring average abruptly jumped to 22.6 points per game, and his free throw percentage improved to a 67.6%, a figure close to his former career average. He ended the season with a scoring average of 15.3 points per game.

Anderson would play on with the Magic through the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, after which he was traded to the Sacramento Kings. He left Orlando as the team's career scoring leader. He was the last player remaining from the Magic's original expansion roster, having remained with the franchise for ten seasons.

He played two seasons in Sacramento, averaging a career-low at that point, 10.8 points per contest in 72 games his first season. He would play just 21 games the next season, and just 15 games in his final season, in which he played for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Retirement

Anderson is now retired from basketball, but recently accepted a job with the Magic in the team's community relations department.

On March 10, 2006, the Magic held a tribute to Nick Anderson during a home game against the Cavaliers, although the team did not retire Anderson's #25 jersey. The Magic have yet to retire the jersey of any former player.

Anderson is currently the Orlando Magic's Community Ambassador with another Magic player, Charles "Bo" Outlaw.

Anderson attends First Baptist Church of Orlando. On June 28, 2009, Anderson was baptized by Pastor David Uth.

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