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Magic retires Shaquille O'Neal's jersey in emotional ceremony

Posted : 14 February 2024

The Orlando Magic honored basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal by retiring his jersey, making him the first player in franchise history to receive such recognition. The emotional ceremony took place after the Magic's game against Oklahoma City, where fans stayed to witness the historic event.


O'Neal, who played for the Magic from 1992 to 1996, expressed gratitude during his speech, stating, "I never thought this day would happen." The retirement of O'Neal's No. 32 jersey marks a significant milestone for the Magic, celebrating their 35th NBA season.


Shaquille O'Neal, a dominant force during his time with the Magic, was selected with the No. 1 pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. Despite leaving the team in 1996, O'Neal's impact on Orlando and his contributions to the franchise's growth were acknowledged in the jersey retirement ceremony.


Former teammates, including Penny Hardaway, Dennis Scott, and Nick Anderson, attended the event, highlighting the camaraderie and respect O'Neal earned from his peers. The decision to retire his jersey this season was a fitting tribute to the player who played a pivotal role in putting Orlando on the basketball map.


With this jersey retirement, Shaquille O'Neal joins an elite group in NBA history, becoming the third player alongside Wilt Chamberlain and Pete Maravich to have jerseys retired by multiple franchises. O'Neal's monumental career, which included four NBA championships, left an indelible mark on each team he played for.


The ceremony featured O'Neal sitting on a throne, sharing stories of his early days in Orlando, and concluded with his jersey hanging from the arena ceiling amidst fireworks. In his closing remarks, O'Neal expressed his deep connection to Orlando, emphasizing that the city would always hold a special place in his heart.


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