February 23, 2020 8:30 a.m.
In the history of the Orlando Magic 273 players have put on a jersey to represent the team. Nick Anderson holds the team record for games played with 692. Jameer Nelson is second with 651 and Dwight Howard is third with 621 games played for the Magic.
But then there is Jonathan Kerner. Kerner is one of five players who played in one game for the franchise but he is the only of the group to have that one game be the only game he played in his NBA career.
Sports Illustrated writer Ben Pickman (@benpickman) wrote a story about players who played one minute or less in their NBA career. It's a great read about the journey of several players who got their moment to step on the floor and have it end in less than 60-seconds. As of mid-January, only 14 players are in the "one-minute club" and a few were added when NBA teams scrambled to fill rosters after the Covid run a few months back.
The Magic have no players in that small fraternity of players to have their NBA career last a minute or less. But they do have five players who played just one game in a Magic uniform. But Jonathan Kerner is the only of the five to never play in another NBA game.
Robert Archibald played his one game for the Magic in 2004 but he played in 44 total NBA games during his career. Earl Boykins played his lone game in 2000 for the team but played in 652 games in the league. Felton Spencer appeared in 640 NBA games, his one with the Magic happened in 1996. Stephen Thompson's one year NBA career saw him play in 19 games and in 1992 he made one appearance with Orlando.
Jonathan Kerner played in one NBA game and it was with the Orlando Magic. He was a 6-11 center who played at FSU and East Carolina. He played in 28 games for the Seminoles from 1992-94 and then appeared in 50 games at East Carolina where he averaged 9.5 points a game.
The 1999 NBA season saw teams play just 50 games because of the lockout.
Kerner was playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the CBA (now known as the G-League) when the Magic needed to add a big man. He was signed on January 21, 1999. He didn't dress for a game until March 3rd when the Magic played at Toronto. But Kerner didn't play in that game or a game five days later at San Antonio. But the following night, the Magic played the Dallas Mavericks on March 11, 1999 Jonathan Kerner made his NBA debut. The Magic fell to 14-7 after losing 93-76 to Dallas. That night the Magic started Penny Hardaway, Ike Austin, Nick Anderson, Horace Grant and Bo Outlaw. But late in the game with the Magic headed for the loss,Chuck Dally called Jonathan Kerner to enter the game. He played five minutes. He took one shot- missed and committed two fouls. That was it. Two days later the Magic won at Golden State but Kerner didn't play. He was then released.
Jonathan Kerner would sign with the Wizards and Knicks but never made the regular season roster and never played another minute in the NBA. He continued his career back in the CBA and then had stops in Russia and Japan.
Kerner is 47 years old today. And while he is not part of the NBA's "one minute club" he is part of the larger group of players who played in one game and the only player in Orlando Magic history to have that one wearing their jersey...
Final thought: The 1999 Orlando Magic finished 33-17 and lost to the Sixers in five games in the opening round of the playoffs. Chuck Daly retired and the team hired Doc Rivers who brought you the "Heart and Hustle" of the 1999-2000 season.