Shaquille O'Neal's No. 32 Retired By Orlando Magic

At the beginning of the year, the Orlando Magic announced that NBA Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal would be the very first Magic player to have his number raised to the arena’s rafters. That ceremony took place on Tuesday night, Feb. 13 when the number 32 was raised to the rafters at the Kia Center after the Magic played against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

According to NBA.com, Shaq was honored with the accomplishment after becoming the first to achieve several milestones with the Orlando Magic franchise.

“You know, there’s an old saying: Never forget where you come from,” O’Neal said. “And my professional career started here. I’ve been living here mostly all my life. The fans have been hospitable. The people have been very, very hospitable. I never thought this day would happen.”

Along with the many fans who stayed behind to witness history, several of Shaq’s teammates were there to see the historical moment. Most notable were Penny Hardaway, Dennis Scott, and Nick Anderson.

Shaq was initially drafted by the Magic after they secured the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. The 7-footer played for the franchise for four seasons, 1992-96. As the starting center for the team, Shaq was named the NBA Rookie of the Year and made the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1992-93. He was a member of the All-Star team every season he was in Orlando and was named to the All-NBA Second Team once (1994-95) and All-NBA Third Team twice (1993-94, 1995-96).

While playing for the franchise, he started in 295 regular season games, putting up 27.2 points a game, pulling down 12.5 rebounds with 2.79 blocks per contest. He also shot .581 from the floor, averaging 2.4 assists in 37.8 minutes a game. Although he took the Magic to the NBA championship in 1995, the team was met by a strong Houston Rockets team that featured Hakeem Olajuwon at center, and the Rockets swept the Magic 4-0.

“There’s no one more deserving to be the first than Shaq,” Magic CEO Alex Martins stated. “Shaq put the Orlando Magic on the map. And the foundation of his Hall of Fame career started right here in Orlando.”

Having his basketball jersey raised to the rafters was the third time it took place for Shaq. He had his number 34 retired by the Los Angeles Lakers as well as the number 32 jersey he wore for Florida’s other team, the Miami Heat. Shaq is only the third NBA player to have his jersey retired by three separate franchises, sharing that honor with Wilt Chamberlain and Pete Maravich.

Shaquille O’Neal No. 32 Retired By Orlando Magic

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