Shaq’s #32 first to hang in rafters in Orlando Magic history

The Orlando Magic will retire the team’s first jersey number next month for the “Superman” who put the team on the map.

On Thursday, the team announced that it will retire #32 on February 13 in honor of Shaquille O’Neal, who will become the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

According to the team, the number will be retired following a matchup between the Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder, which tips off at 7:30 p.m.

The game will air on TNT and is the sole nationally televised game for the Magic, which is celebrating its 35th year in the league.

“When someone asks who was the first player to officially put the Orlando Magic on the map, the answer is simple – Shaquille O’Neal,” reads a statement from Alex Martins, CEO of the Orlando Magic.

O’Neal was selected first in the 1992 NBA Draft and won NBA Rookie of the Year. He spent four seasons with the Magic and was selected as an NBA All-Star each year.

During his time with the team, he appeared in 295 regular season games and averaged 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.79 blocks in 37.8 minutes per game.

O’Neal led the team to its first appearance in the NBA Finals in the 1995-96 season. He still ranks second in blocked shots and third in rebounding for the franchise. He was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

O’Neal left the team after the 1995-96 season to sign a $120 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the first of two “Supermen” to play for the team, preceding Dwight Howard.

Howard, who was also selected with the number one pick, holds franchise records for points (11,435), rebounds (8,072), blocks (1,344), and minutes (22,471), and led the Magic to its second and last appearance in the NBA Finals against the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers.

In categories he doesn’t lead, Howard ranks among the top three or four in most instances, including steals (4th – 626), games played (3rd – 621), field goals (3rd – 4,034), and field goal percentage (3rd – .577), among many others.

Howard also ranks first in a variety of advanced metrics including win shares, defensive rating, and value over replacement player.

Over the past several years, the team has made a point to honor its players through a variety of measures, including a Hall of Fame that has inducted O’Neal, Tracy McGrady, and Dennis Scott, among others.

Do you have memories and experiences of Shaquille O’Neal’s time in Orlando? Share them in a comment below.

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