Celebrating Shaq: Orlando Magic Pays Tribute with Jersey Retirement

Shaquille O'Neal, once the NBA's most dominant center, will become the first player to receive this honor from the Orlando

by Sededin Dedovic
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Celebrating Shaq: Orlando Magic Pays Tribute with Jersey Retirement
© Kaizer Basketball / Youtube channel

On February 13, 2024, the Orlando Magic will retire Shaquille O'Neal's No. 32 jersey and raise it to the rafters of the Amway Center. O'Neal, who is considered one of the greatest centers in NBA history, played for the Magic for four seasons from 1992 to 1996 where he proved to be a great player.

"Shaquille O'Neal is an Orlando Magic legend," said Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman. "He is one of the most dominant players in NBA history, and his impact on our franchise is undeniable. We are thrilled to honor him by retiring his jersey number and elevating him to the top." O'Neal was the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Magic.

He quickly became a star in Orlando, averaging 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.79 blocks per game in four seasons with the team. He led the Magic to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons, including an appearance in the 1995 NBA Finals.

The basketball world couldn't believe the impact the then very young Shaq had on the team. "I'm incredibly honored to have my jersey number retired by the Orlando Magic," O'Neal said. "Orlando is where my NBA journey began and I will always cherish the memories I have of playing there.

I want to thank the DeVos family, Jeff Weltman and the entire Magic organization for this incredible honor."

Many team and individual successes

O'Neal went on to have a Hall of Fame career, winning four NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.

He was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2000 and is the eighth all-time leading scorer in NBA history. The Magic are the third team to retire O'Neal's jersey number, following the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. "Shaquille O'Neal is a legend of the game," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

"He is one of the most iconic and entertaining players of all time, and his impact on the NBA extends far beyond the basketball court. We are thrilled that the Orlando Magic are retiring his jersey number. " The retirement of O'Neal's jersey number is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and his name is deeply etched in basketball history.

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