Shaquille O’Neal is set to receive a prestigious honor from the Orlando Magic as they retire his jersey number, making him the first player in the franchise’s history to receive such recognition. The iconic No 32 jersey, worn by O’Neal during his four-year stint with the Magic from 1992-96, will be retired in a ceremony following the team’s game against Oklahoma City on February 13, as part of the franchise’s 35th-anniversary season.
Magic CEO Alex Martin surprised O’Neal with the news during O’Neal’s role as an analyst for TNT Sports. In a special message, Martin conveyed the organization’s congratulations, stating, “On behalf of the DeVos family, myself, and all of us here at the Orlando Magic, we want to congratulate you as we make you the first jersey number retired in the history of the Orlando Magic.”
O’Neal, selected as the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Magic, had an illustrious career with the team, playing in 295 regular-season games (293 starts). He averaged an impressive 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.79 blocks per game during his time with the Magic, leading the team to the NBA Finals in 2005.
Martins highlighted O’Neal’s significant contributions to the franchise, noting that he still holds prominent positions among the team’s all-time leaders in various categories, including blocked shots, rebounds, free throws made, field goals made, and points scored. O’Neal’s impact extended beyond statistics, with his dominating play, charismatic personality, and philanthropic efforts earning him the admiration of both the team and the city.
Magic Chairman Dan DeVos expressed the team’s delight in bestowing this honor upon O’Neal, recognizing his transformative influence on the Magic and the lasting legacy he leaves in Orlando. O’Neal, a four-time NBA All-Star during his time with the Magic, is also remembered for being named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1994-95 and the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1992-93, where he was honored as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. The upcoming jersey retirement ceremony promises to be a poignant celebration of O’Neal’s remarkable achievements in a Magic uniform.