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Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 Retired By Orlando Magic

Shaquille O'Neal is the very first Orlando Magic basketball player to have his number raised to the arena’s rafters.

At the beginning of the year, the Orlando Magic announced that NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal would be the first Magic player to have his number retired and raised to the arena’s rafters. The ceremony took place on Feb. 13 at the Kia Center. After being defeated by the Oklahoma City Thunder 127-113, The Magic ended the night on a high note, retiring the jersey of one of the organization’s greatest talents.  

According to, Shaq was honored with the accomplishment after becoming the first to achieve several milestones with the Orlando Magic franchise.

“You know, there’s an old saying: Never forget where you come from,” O’Neal said. “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.”

Along with the many fans who stayed behind to witness history, several of Shaq’s teammates were there to see the historical moment. Most notable were Penny Hardaway, Dennis Scott, and Nick Anderson.

The Magic drafted Shaq after they secured the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. The 7-footer played for the franchise for four seasons, 1992-96. As the starting center for the team, Shaq was named the NBA Rookie of the Year and made the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1992-93. He was voted as a member of the All-Star team every season he played for Orlando and was named to the All-NBA Second Team once (1994-95) and All-NBA Third Team twice (1993-94, 1995-96).

While playing for the franchise, he started in 295 regular season games, putting up 27.2 points a game, pulling down 12.5 rebounds with 2.79 blocks per contest. He also shot .581 from the floor, averaging 2.4 assists in 37.8 minutes a game. Although he took the Magic to the NBA championship in 1995, the team was met by a strong Houston Rockets team that featured Hakeem Olajuwon at center. The Rockets swept the Magic 4-0.

“There’s no one more deserving to be the first than Shaq,” Magic CEO Alex Martins stated. “Shaq put the Orlando Magic on the map. And the foundation of his Hall of Fame career started right here in Orlando.”

The Orlando Magic is the third NBA team to retire  Shaq’s number. The  Los Angeles Lakers retired No. 34 in his honor, and the Miami Heat retired the No. 32, as well. Shaq is only the third NBA player to have his jersey retired by three franchises, sharing that honor with Wilt Chamberlain and Pete Maravich.

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