For his remarkable rookie season in the NBA, Shaq is receiving an award.
Shaquille O’Neal, who is 51 years old, will make team history when the Orlando Magic retire his jersey number.
O’Neal was informed of the team’s plans to retire his jersey on Thursday night’s Inside the NBA broadcast on TNT. Magic CEO Alex Martins came into the show to break the news to the retired NBA center.
According to Martins, “the wait is over” because they have heard that you have been waiting for a phone call from them. “With the warmest congratulations from the Devos family, myself, and the entire Orlando Magic organization, we are honored to retire your jersey number, making it the first in our franchise’s history.”
As Martins broke the news, O’Neal grinned in a picture-in-picture.
“We had some wonderful times and you had a fantastic career here in the beginning,” Martins remarked. Thanks to you, we made it to the NBA Finals, and now we can celebrate by hаnging that banner.
With confetti falling from the ceiling and co-hosts Ernie Johnson Jr., Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith clapping and shouting in joy, O’Neal dabbed at a tear.
“Well done, big!” Over the desk, Barkley yelled.
A video message from Dr. Lucille O’Neal, O’Neal’s mother, was played later on by TNT.
His mother spoke into the camera, reminiscing about the day when Shaquille O’Neal was chosen over him when the nаme “Orlando Magic” was called.
All of us were overjoyed and delighted for you. You brought so much happiness and excitement to the Orlando community, and for that, we are all very proud of you. We hope you take pleasure in this recognition and honor because it is richly merited. “You have our utmost admiration,” she went on to sаy.
After spending his first four years with the Magic, O’Neal signed with the Lakers as a free agent. The Magic reached the NBA Finals in 1995 with the help of the Hall of Famer, who was selected first overall by the club in the 1992 draft.
O’Neal remarked, “It was a great four years there,” on air. “I just wаnted to come in and make a nаme for myself.”
Despite not being a part of the Magic’s run to the NBA Finals, O’Neal went on to win four titles with the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers.
O’Neal was honored with jersey retirements by the Lakers in 2013 and the Heat in 2016. He was a 15-time All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP. According to NBC Los Angeles, he will join an exclusive club—just two others in NBA history—in having his jersey retired by three different clubs. Wilt Chamberlain, an NBA Hall of Famer, was the other one.
In 2016, O’Neal was welcomed into the NBA Hall of Fаme.