Shaquille O’Neal’s number 32 will be retired by the Orlando Magic on February 13, in a ceremony following a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
This will be the very first number retired by the Magic.
The Los Angeles Lakers retired his number 34 in 2013 and the Miami Heat retired his number 32 in 2016.
O’Neal won three NBA titles with the Lakers and another with the Heat.
“When someone asks who was the first player to really put the Magic on the map, the answer is simple: Shaquille O’Neal,” said Alex Martins, the club’s CEO.
“He took the team to new heights, on and off the field, and his legacy is still felt throughout the organization. On behalf of the DeVos family, we are thrilled to honor Shaquille by raising number 32 aloft at the Kia Center, where it will remain forever. »
O’Neal was the first overall pick in the 1992 draft. He spent his first four seasons with Orlando, before joining the Lakers in 1996.
He was rookie of the year in 1993 and an all-star during his four seasons with the Magic.
O’Neal led the Magic to their first NBA Finals in 1995. He is second in team history in blocks (824), as well as third in rebounds (3,691).
The decision was announced Thursday during “NBA Tip-Off” on TNT, the show O’Neal has been on for several years.
O’Neal said he was very grateful to Rich DeVos – the original owner of the Magic, who died in 2018.
“I had four great years there,” O’Neal said on the show. I just wanted to make a name for myself. I want to thank the city of Orlando and the Magic organization. I appreciate you a lot. »
O’Neal was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. Five years later, he was named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team.