Michael Jordan

Why Shaq ‘hates' Michael Jordan's banner hanging from the rafters in Miami

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Shaquille O'Neal offered his opinion on league-wide jersey retirements on the latest episode of "The Big Podcast" this week.

The Hall of Famer, whose No. 32 jersey was retired by the Miami Heat in 2016, said he disapproves of the organization retiring Michael Jordan's No. 23 and Bill Russell's No. 6 due to the fact that neither played for the franchise.

"I hate the fact that they hang up other people's jerseys," O'Neal said. "I hope I'm not disrespecting anybody by this term.

"This thing is ours. This is what we built. Michael Jordan ain't never play for the Heat. Bill Russell ain't never play for the Heat. You did your own thing with your little Celtics family and Chicago family. But this Miami thing? I was one of the original championship families... this is our thing. So I don't like that, personally.

The Heat are the only team aside from the Bulls who have Jordan's No. 23 hanging from the rafters. As for Russell, the NBA retired his jersey number following his death in 2022.

O'Neal's point is fair. When you gave everything you had to a organization and to its fans, it's reasonable to be territorial.

My unsolicited opinion on the general practice of jersey retirements is that we're doing too much. I agree with O'Neal that Jordan's jersey doesn't need to be hanging in any city but Chicago. As for team-specific jerseys, I'm all for raising a banner to honor the contributions of a great player from your own organization, but unless it's an extraordinary circumstance (i.e. Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell), retiring a number forever is ridiculous.

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