BY Dollita Okine, 3:10pm February 15, 2024,

Shaquille O’Neal makes history as first player to have his number retired by the Orlando Magic

The move is part of Magic's celebration of its 35th anniversary. Photos via: Instagram, Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic retired its star player Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 jersey Tuesday night, making it the first jersey retirement in the organization’s history. The move is part of Magic’s celebration of its 35th anniversary.

It announced on Twitter, alongside an old video of him being drafted, with the caption, “#32 is the first player in Magic history to have his number retired. Thank you, @SHAQ.”

According to NBC Sports, Shaq addressed the audience, stating, “You know, there’s an old saying: Never forget where you come from. And my professional career started here. I’ve been living here mostly all my life. The fans have been hospitable. The people have been very, very hospitable. I never thought this day would happen.”

The publication noted that the Orlando Magic, who had a 70-176 record, seemed to be an expansion club throughout their first three seasons of play.

The Magic won the NBA Draft Lottery in 1992 and used the No. 1 pick to select Shaq out of LSU. Everything changed after that. Shaq guided the Magic to a.500 record as a rookie while playing alongside sharpshooters Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott. Shaq and Penny Hardaway had the Magic in the NBA Finals by his third season.

Indeed, Shaq was Orlando’s first in many respects, according to AP News. First No. 1 overall draft pick. First rookie of the year. First player to make an All-Star team in a Magic uniform. First All-NBA selection. And the first big-name star to quit the franchise.

Shaq averaged 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks over 295 games while shooting 58.1 percent from the field during his four years in Orlando, per DailyMail.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 15, 2024


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