The Miami Heat will retire Shaquille O’Neal's No. 32 jersey, the team announced Tuesday.
O’Neal played with the Heat for four seasons from 2004 through part of the 2007–08 season. In that time, he was a member of the team’s first NBA Finals championship in 2006 and holds the franchise record for field-goal percentage (.596) and his 19.6 points per game is the third most for scoring average. He is also fifth in blocks (384), seventh in free throws attempted (1,708), eighth in offensive rebounds (621) and ninth in double-doubles (84).
“Shaquille O’Neal is one of the truly elite players in the history of the game and one of the greatest players to ever wear a Heat uniform,” team president Pat Riley said in a statement.
O’Neal’s No. 32 will be the third number worn by a former player retired by the Heat after Alonzo Mourning’s No. 33 and Tim Hardaway’s No. 10. The team has also retired Dan Marino and Michael Jordan’s numbers.
The Heat acquired O’Neal in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Caron Butler, Brian Grant, Lamar Odom, a 2006 first-round draft pick (Jordan Farmar later selected) and a 2007 second-round draft pick.
In February 2008, he was traded by the Heat to the Phoenix Suns for Marcus Banks and Shawn Marion.
The Los Angeles Lakers previously announced they will honor O’Neal with a statue outside of the Staples Center. O’Neal played with the Lakers from 1996 to 2004, winning NBA championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He was named the NBA MVP for the 1999–2000 season, and his number was retired by the organization in 2013.
- Christopher Chavez