The big guy – Shaquille O’Neal – is about to be honored in a big way!
The Orlando Magic recently announced that they will be retiring their first jersey in franchise history, and that jersey belongs to Shaq!
Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando Magic Jersey No. 32 Will Be First In Franchise History To Be Retired
The former NBA star found out the exciting news while on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” on Thursday night when Magic CEO Alex Martins sent a video to O’Neal that was aired during the broadcast.
“When someone asks who was the first player to officially put the Orlando Magic on the map, the answer is simple – Shaquille O’Neal,” Martins said in a press release. “He took this franchise to new heights, both on and off the court, and his legacy is still felt within our organization today.”
O’Neal achieved many accomplishments as a member of the Magic. He was named an NBA All-Star four times during his time on the Magic, as well as named to the All-NBA Second Team once, All-NBA third team twice, named in the All-NBA Rookie First Team in 1992-93, and was the NBA Rookie of the Year.
He still ranks as the franchise leader in several categories. He was also inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame in 2015, elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, and was named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.
NBA on TNT dropped into the comment section of the Magic’s Instagram post announcing O’Neal‘s jersey being retired in February to say, “Nobody deserves it more than the Big Fella.”
Many fans commented about how long it took for his jersey to be retired.
“Painfully long overdue,” one person wrote. Another added, “Should have done this years ago.”
Shaquille O’Neal’s Mom Sent Him A Special Message
O’Neal also got a special message from one of the most important people in his life after the announcement of his Magic jersey’s upcoming retirement.
“Congratulations, Shaquille, on the retirement of your jersey with the Orlando Magic. Of course, this is your number one fan saying congratulations to you,” O’Neals mom, Dr. Lucille O’Neal, said.
“I can remember back when they called your name, Orlando Magic with the first pick, and they called Shaquille O’Neal. We were all so happy for you, as well as excited. I have to tell you, you made us all proud with all of that joy and excitement you brought to the Orlando community.”
She concluded by saying that “this award and this recognition is well deserved” and that she’s very proud of him.
“So, we want you to enjoy it. So proud of you,” she said. “And we pray that you continue to enjoy life and dont ever forget the memories. God bless you, my son.
NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 5, 2024
This is O’Neal’s third jersey to be retired. He also had his No. 34 L.A. Lakers jersey retired, as well as his No. 32 Miami Heat jersey.
O’Neal’s Magic jersey will be retired on Feb. 13 in a ceremony during the Magic vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game.
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