Retired Jerseys: Shaq or Dwight?

The Orlando Magic is a relatively young franchise. You could make the argument that they do not have a retired number for that reason. But the three other new teams from ’89 have at least one jersey retired. Why haven’t the Magic enshrined a former player’s number up in the rafters? Maybe because we have not found the right guy to fit the bill. That brings us to my question: Why not Shaquille O’Neal or Dwight Howard?

Shaquille O’Neal

Why He Should Have His Jersey Retired

  • In his four seasons in the pinstripes, Shaq accumulated numerous awards including: 4x NBA All-Star, 1x All-NBA Second Team, and 2x All-NBA Third Team. He was also named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and was the Rookie of the Year.
  • He is second in team history in blocks and rebounds, third in field goals made, and fifth in points scored.
  • Shaq, or Superman, was a fan favorite during his tenure in Orlando. People were overjoyed when Michael Jordan switched to baseball because that meant the NBA was now Shaq’s. Orlando is where he got his start.

Why He Shouldn’t Have His Jersey Retired

  • Shaq only played four seasons for the Magic and left on bad terms. He chased the money in Los Angeles instead of cementing his legacy in Orlando.
  • His best years were not in Orlando. He may have taken the Magic to the Finals, but he won championships with Lakers.
  • He did not just break backboards; he broke our hearts.
Always Shaqtin’ a Fool. source: i.ytimg.com

Dwight Howard

Why He Should Have His Jersey Retired

  • Leads the Magic all time in rebounds, free throws (slightly skewed, but still), blocks, and points.
  • Spent eight seasons with the team, easily the best years of his career. Earned many awards, including: 6x NBA All-Star, 5x All-NBA First Team, 3x Defensive Player of the Year, and Slam Dunk champ to name a few.
  • Just like Shaq, Howard was fan favorite. He volunteered at functions around the Orlando area, had his own shoes, and even had his own puppet!

Why He Shouldn’t Have His Jersey Retired

  • Just like Superman number 1, Superman number 2 left on bad terms. He demanded a trade, forced upper management to fire Stan Van Gundy, and basically stopped trying on the court until he left. When your departure is nicknamed the “Dwightmare”, there are going to be negative repercussions.
  • Howard publically stated that his jersey should be retired the day after he left the Magic, and then whined when Tobias Harris took number 12 for himself.
  • He came out and threw the 2009 team under the bus, stating that “his team” in Orlando was a group of misfits that he led with “a smile on his face”. Throwing shade to the Finals team? Not cool.

Dwight_Howard for the blog
Bet he missed it. source: Wikepedia
I would have done a twitter poll to get your take on this but…well I really don’t know why I didn’t. Maybe I should. Or you can let me know in the comments what you think. Like perhaps you think someone else should be up there? Like Jameer Nelson, Nick Anderson, Mickael Pietrus? (Okay Pietrus is a joke I just love him.) My personal opinion? As disliked as he is now, Dwight should have his jersey retired. Go ahead, fight me.

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