Despite the fact that Dwyane Wade is largely credited with being the sole force that led the Heat to their first title in 2006, Shaquille O’Neal played a large role in helping Miami reach the promised land. In fact, most of Shaq’s three and half seasons with the Heat were pretty great before injuries and a rift with Pat Riley caused a messy exit.
When the Heat acquired Shaq he was arguably the most popular basketball player in the world and as a result generated a lot of Heat fans. His time in Miami was just fun, and I personally believe he really helped mentor DWade into a star. I loved watching him dominate and have very fond memories of the “Shaq attack”.
According to Miami’s press release, the Heat will honor O’Neal on December 22nd at halftime as Miami (ironically) take on the LA Lakers. The ceremony is set to be hosted by Eric Reid and will be paired with a video presentation and the raising of his jersey. Following the ceremony, both Shaq and Pat Riley will address the fans. Shaq will be third Heat player to get his number retired, joining Alonzo and Tim Hardaway in the rafters.