At 19-15 this season, the Orlando Magic have shown major improvement in 2023-24. Last season the team won 34 games and they’re on pace to shatter that. It’s the 35th anniversary for the Magic this season and they made a special announcement on TNT last night.
For the first time in team history, they will be retiring the jersey of one of their former players. None other than Shaquille O’Neal who started his legendary career with the Magic. He was drafted first overall by the team back in the 1992 NBA Draft. O’Neal will have his #32 jersey retired on Tuesday, February 13th. Orlando will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Shaquille O’Neal has the honor of being the first Magic player to have their jersey retired
— The Big Podcast (@bigpodwithshaq) January 5, 2024
O’Neal played for several franchises in his legendary career, but he got his start with the Orlando Magic. He spent four seasons with the team and helped them reach new heights. As a rookie in 1992-93, he helped improve the team’s record by 20 wins. They had 21 wins the previous season and had 41 in O’Neal’s rookie season. Additionally, he helped lead the team to their first NBA Finals and had his first of two career scoring titles with Orlando.
Originally, Shaq wanted to wear #33 with the Magic. However, Terry Catledge already had that jersey and was persistent about not giving it to a rookie. O’Neal said he offered Catledge $50,000 to get #33, but he would not budge. Now O’Neal’s #32 jersey will be retired next month by Orlando. He now joins Wilt Chamberlain as the only other player to have their jersey retired by three different franchises.
In celebration of our 35th anniversary this season, we will officially retire jersey #32 in honor of Shaquille O’Neal during a postgame ceremony on Tuesday, February 13.
O’Neal becomes the first player in franchise history to have his number retired 🪄 pic.twitter.com/i5zk1b6IR9
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 5, 2024
O’Neal’s #34 jersey was retired by the Lakers in 2013 and his #32 jersey was retired by the Heat in 2016. Additionally, he was inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Nasmith Hall of Fame in 2016. Shaq’s #33 is also retired by the LSU Tigers. O’Neal had a historic playing career and now has the honor of being the first Magic player to have their jersey retired.