The Los Angeles Lakers created a dynasty in the early 2000s with head coach Phil Jackson along with one of the most dominant players of all-time, Shaquille O’Neal, and a young star in Kobe Bryant.
The trio won three straight championships from 2000-02, and reached another NBA Finals in 2004, although they were defeated by the Detroit Pistons.
While they dominated on the court, O’Neal and Bryant had clashing personalities which led to the Lakers trading O’Neal to the Miami Heat after the 2004 season.
O’Neal went on to win a fourth championship ring in 2006 with the Heat, as he formed a similar dominant trio with head coach Pat Riley and another young star, Dwyane Wade.
O’Neal played three and a half season with the Heat before being traded to the Phoenix Suns. Due to his contributions in helping Miami win their first ever NBA Championship, the Heat are retiring O’Neal’s No. 32 jersey this season.
They have decided to do the ceremony on Dec. 22, when the Heat host the Lakers, via NBA.com:
The HEAT announced today that they will retire Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 jersey in a special halftime ceremony on December 22nd at AmericanAirlines Arena when the HEAT take on the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 205 career games with the Heat, O’Neal averaged 19.6 points and 9.1 rebounds, being named an All-Star in each of his first three seasons with the organization. He became the first player in the Heat’s franchise history, and only the sixth in NBA history, to shoot at least 60 percent from the field in consecutive seasons.
This will be the second NBA jersey that O’Neal will have retired, as the Lakers retired his No. 34 jersey in 2013.
O’Neal will become the third Heat player to have his jersey retired, joining Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway. He, along with Riley will both speak at the ceremony.