NBA News: Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal's Number To Be Retired By The Miami Heat
The Miami Heat will retire Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal's number 32 jersey. The ceremony will be held on December 22 at American Airlines Arena when the Miami Heat play Shaquille O'Neal's former team the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaquille O'Neal and Miami Heat president Pat Riley are scheduled to address the fans. This will be the second time that O'Neal's jersey will go into the rafters. Back in 2013, the Los Angeles Lakers also retired his number 34 jersey.
Shaquille O'Neal came to the Miami Heat via a blockbuster trade back in 2004. The Los Angeles Lakers traded Shaquille O'Neal amidst a much publicized feud with teammate Kobe Bryant. The Miami Heat in return gave away Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, and a future first-round draft choice (who would later turn into Jordan Farmar in the 2006 draft).
Teaming up with the then up and coming Dwayne Wade, Shaquille O'Neal instantly made the Miami Heat a title contender. The Miami Heat fell just one game short of making the NBA Finals during Shaquille O'Neal's first season with the franchise. The following season, with Dwayne Wade leading them, the Heat finally won their first title in franchise history.
After four seasons playing for the Miami Heat, Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion. He went on to play a season and a half with the Phoenix Suns before being traded again to Lebron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009-2010 season. He then played for the Boston Celtics in the 2010-2011 season before finally retiring.
In a career spanning 19 seasons, Shaquile O'Neal has had a stellar career. Among his career achievements are 3 NBA titles (3 with the Los Angeles Lakers and 1 with the Miami Heat), 3 NBA Finals MVP's, 15 All-Star selections, 3 All-Star MVP's, one regular season NBA MVP, a NBA Rookie of the Year award and a gold medal with Team USA while being named to 14 All-NBA teams and 3 NBA All-Defensive teams.
Shaquille O'Neal retired with career averages of 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.26 blocks per game while shooting 58.2 percent from the field. He is widely considered the most dominant center in NBA history.