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The Unforgettable Night: Shaq Reveals Why Orlando Jersey Retirement Holds a Special Place in His Heart!

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Shaquille O’Neal expressed gratitude for the Magic’s move to retire his jersey.

The Orlando Magic have made an impressive performance turnaround in 2024. The Magic are 29-24 and sit sixth in the Eastern Conference. However, Shaquille O’Neal used to spearhead a dominant time with the franchise. Shaq discussed the special significance of his jersey retirement in Orlando.

Shaq’s time with the Magic was unlike any other 

Orlando drafted Shaquille O’Neal with the first overall pick in the 1992 draft. He never won an NBA title during his time with the Magic. Yet, he built a foundation that allowed him to become one of the most dominant centers in league history.

Shaq took a phenomenal leap with the franchise during his sophomore season, averaging 29.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game. This was the same year Penny Hardaway joined the team. Thus, the duo led Orlando as a force in the East for two more seasons.

In total, O’Neal spent four seasons with the Magic before departing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaq is fond of his time in Orlando and expressed such in a press conference on his jersey retirement.

“To start [my career] here…and to be honored this way…this [jersey retirement] will probably be the most special one,” O’Neal told reporters in Orlando. Shaq was not sure his time in Orlando warranted him as one of the greatest in franchise history but is grateful to have the team honor him.

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“When [the announcement was made] on TNT, I wanted to cry,” O’Neal continued. Of course, the legendary center had to follow the statement up with a comical clarification of his emotions. “[But I didn’t], because you know, I don’t cry in public, ever,” the former center said with a slight smirk.

Although he did not win a championship, O’Neal’s first four years with Orlando were dominant and worthy of honor. All in all, it will be interesting to see if the Magic teams of the 2020s era can build on Shaq’s swagger-filled dominant tenure.


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