Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal will be the first player to have his jersey number retired by the Magic, the team announced in a press release. O’Neal’s No. 32 will be retired on February 13 following Orlando’s game vs. Oklahoma City.
“When someone asks who was the first player to officially put the Orlando Magic on the map, the answer is simple – Shaquille O’Neal,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “He took this franchise to new heights, both on and off the court, and his legacy is still felt within our organization today. On behalf of the DeVos family, we are excited to honor Shaquille by raising #32 into the rafters of the Kia Center, where it will remain forever.”
O’Neal spent his first four NBA seasons with the Magic, averaging 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.8 blocks in 295 regular season games (37.8 MPG). He led Orlando to its first NBA Finals appearance in 1995, during his third season.
O’Neal was inducted into the Magic’s Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Basketball Hall of Fame the next year. Despite the brief nature of his stint with the franchise, he was absolutely dominant during his tenure with Orlando, which included a Rookie of the Year award, four All-Star appearances and three All-NBA nods.
The 51-year-old big man will be the third player to have his jersey retired by three teams, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The Lakers retired O’Neal’s No. 34 in 2013, and the Heat retired his No. 32 in 2016. He won three championships with L.A. and one with Miami.