The legacy of “Big Diesel” was honored last night in the Magic City.
During halftime of the Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers game, the Heat franchise decided to pay homage to one of the greatest centers the league has ever witnessed. Shaquille O’neal‘s #32 jersey was retired in front of a packed house in the American Airlines Arena. He became the 3rd former Heat to have his jersey being raised into the rafters. The other two were Hall Of Famer center Alonzo Morning and Tim Hardaway.
As you may know Shaq arrived in Miami in 2004, teaming up with a rising scoring sensation Dwayne Wade and a basketball genius in Pat Riley. In 2006, “Shaqtus” led Miami to their first NBA Championship by upsetting the heavily favored Dallas Mavericks thanks to outstanding play by Wade and a phenomenal supporting cast of Antoine Walker and Jason Williams. Even tho Wade was Finals MVP, averaging 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals, “Flash” owed a lot of credit to “Superman” and Wade definitely recognized and rightfully paid homage to Shaq via Instagram in an heartfelt post.
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
Classy move for another future Hall Of Famer to another. Major shoutouts goes out to “The Big Aristotle” as he adds another accomplishment to his storied NBA career and legacy of the sport of basketball.
Diesel. ? pic.twitter.com/lJ7ikKwiOy
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 23, 2016