Orlando Magic Retires Shaquille O'Neal's No. 32 Jersey

Orlando Magic Retires Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 Jersey

The Orlando Magic honored legendary NBA center Shaquille O’Neal by retiring his iconic No. 32 jersey in a ceremony held on Tuesday, marking a significant moment in the franchise’s history. O’Neal, who witnessed his jersey being raised to the rafters of the Kia Center, expressed heartfelt gratitude for the honor, highlighting the special significance of his time with the Magic.

“This, truthfully speaking, is the most impressive,” remarked O’Neal, reflecting on the distinction of having his jersey retired by the Magic, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Miami Heat. “This one, I didn’t expect. To start here, to put in the work, to play here for four years, and to be honored this way, this will probably be the most special one.”

During the ceremony, O’Neal expressed his enduring affection for the Magic franchise, emphasizing the profound impact his time in Orlando had on his career and personal journey. “Orlando will forever hold a special place in my heart. I will always be proud to be part of this Magic franchise … I want to thank my teammates. Without them, there would be no me,” O’Neal remarked, acknowledging the collective effort that contributed to his success.

Selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, O’Neal played a pivotal role in shaping the identity of the Magic during his tenure with the team from 1992 to 1996. His dominant performances on the court propelled the Magic to new heights and established him as one of the most formidable players in the league.

“Shaq put the Orlando Magic on the map,” stated Magic CEO Alex Martins. “The foundation of his Hall-of-Fame career started right here in Orlando in his first four seasons. All of the accolades and all of the awards that he received over the course of his career started here.”

O’Neal’s impact extended beyond statistical achievements, as he endeared himself to fans with his charisma, athleticism, and larger-than-life personality. A four-time NBA All-Star during his tenure with the Magic, O’Neal’s contributions to the team were immeasurable, leaving an indelible mark on the franchise’s history.

Following his tenure with the Magic, O’Neal went on to achieve further success, winning four NBA titles, including three consecutive championships with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000 to 2002 and one with the Miami Heat in 2006. Beyond his on-court accomplishments, O’Neal’s influence transcended basketball, as he became a cultural icon through his appearances in movies, video games, commercials, and talk shows.