Skip to Content

Shaquille O’Neal’s legendary jersey first to be retired by Orlando Magic

<i></i><br/>Shaquille O'Neal's legendary jersey is the first to be retired by the Orlando Magic.
Lawrence, Nakia

Shaquille O'Neal's legendary jersey is the first to be retired by the Orlando Magic.

By Kristen Lago

Click here for updates on this story

    ORLANDO, Florida (WESH) — He’s one of the most iconic players with one of the most iconic names in all of sports.

Shaquille O’Neal clearly needs no introduction, and on Tuesday, he becomes the first Orlando Magic player to have his jersey retired.

“He’s definitely the most dominant big man ever,” Wendell Carter Jr., Orlando Magic forward, said.

He’s someone who was and still is larger than life.

“When Shaq came in, he changes your life. He changes how we do things. He changes how we travel, right? We were commercial. All of a sudden, we had a new plane. You went from a van and then we had two buses. They went from a regular hotel to Ritz-Carltons. It’s because of Shaq,” Dennis Scott, O’Neal’s former teammate said.

O’Neal was a player that was pure “magic” from the start.

Drafted first in the 1992 NBA Draft from Louisiana State University, the big man immediately hit the ground running in Orlando. He was NBA rookie of the year and then an all-star three times over, averaging over 27 points and 12 rebounds per game.

In just four seasons here, he became the engine that made the Magic go.

There’s no denying O’Neal put the Magic on the map, so it’s only fitting that 28 years later, the Magic are putting him into the rafters.

“It’s like it’s way overdue. I think the true fans who follow this franchise from day one understand what Shaq did for this franchise, so I’m super happy for him,” Scott said.

In addition, O’Neal will be just the second player in NBA history to have his jersey retired by three different franchises. It’s a special moment for the city and a special experience for the players not taking the court in his footsteps.

“It’s actually crazy. We all know Shaq. One of my first jerseys was a Shaq Magic jersey, just to see him get recognized for the player; everybody knows what type of career, you know, what type of center he was. So it’s going to be pretty cool that we get to witness that and be a part of it,” Gary Harris, Orlando Magic guard, said.

“Just to be on the same team that he once played for is always special. I always think about that. And then just to see him getting his jersey retired, as I expected at some point for him. I’m just glad that I’m going to be here, be in the building, be able to see his jersey go up into the rafters,” Carter Jr. said.

Number 32 is returning home to Orlando — immortalized as a member of the Magic forevermore.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content