Shaquille O’Neal: Miami Heat Retiring My No. 32 ‘Really Unexpected’

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Shaquille O'Neal

Photo via Dec 22, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley address the fans in honoring Heat former center Shaquille O Neal on retiring his jersey during a half time ceremony against the Los Angeles Lakers at the American Airlines Arena. O Neal become the third Heat player to have his jersey retired along with Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Shaquille O’Neal is best remembered as a Los Angeles Lakers legend. Some people think of him as an Orlando Magic star alongside Penny Hardaway in the mid-1990s.

But he also spent three-plus seasons with the Miami Heat from 2004 to 2008, and he helped them win their first title in 2006.

10 plus years ago we talked about taking a picture like this after we won a championship and we did just that. Thanks to @shaq for helping all of our dreams come true. Great teammate, Great leader and even better friend to me in our time wearing that heat uniform. I'm man enough to say that I owe a lot of my early success to this man! Congrats on number 32 going up in the rafters big fella. It's definitely deserved x 10! #TheHeatles

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O’Neal was honored at American Airlines Arena in Miami on Thursday night, when his No. 32 was retired to the rafters in a halftime ceremony during Heat-Lakers.

O’Neal joins Tim Hardaway (No. 10) and Alonzo Mourning (No. 33) as Heat players to have their number retired. The team also retired No. 23 in honor of Michael Jordan, which is a little strange.

Dwyane Wade almost certainly will have his No. 3 retired by the Heat someday. He’s without question the best player in the franchise’s history. LeBron James and Chris Bosh are other players who could see their numbers retired by Miami at some point.

The Heat are the second team to retire Shaq’s number. The Los Angeles Lakers, with whom O’Neal won three titles from 1996 through 2004, retired his No. 34 in April 2013.

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images

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