Shaq On Why He Hates MJ’s Banner Hanging From Miami’s Rafters

Miami's Shaq

League-wide jersey retirements have been a hot topic recently, and Shaquille O’Neal is the latest Hall-of-Famer to take issue with Miami’s practices.

Shaq’s number 32 jersey was retired by the Heat in 2016 for what he achieved in his four seasons there.

The issue he has is with Miami’s decision to retire other people’s jersey, like Michael Jordan’s number 23 and Bill Russell’s number 6 because they never played for the franchise.

“I hate the fact that they hang up other people’s jerseys,” O’Neal said on latest episode of The Big Podcast this week. “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.”

Aside for the Bulls of course, the Heat are the only other franchise who have MJ’s jersey hanging from the rafters.

The NBA retired Bill Russell’s jersey from all teams after his death in 2022.

Another Heat legend in Udonis Haslem shared similar thoughts to Shaq about Russell’s jersey earlier this week, as explained by Bam Adebayo.

“We playing Boston, so you know his [Haslem] feel on that,” Adebayo said on The Playmaker OGs. “So dog, we in the huddle. Cap came in here and gave his pregame speech and you know they retired Bill Russell’s jersey for everybody in the league. So they got No. 6 in our rafters. And he ended his pregame speech, ‘F**k Bill Russell too!’ I said, ‘Bro, this man dead, OG.'”

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Udonis replied to Bam with, “Tell me when you gonna see a Miami Heat jersey hanging in Boston. I love Bill [Russell]. No disrespect to Bill. I love you. He just caught a stray.Will you ever see a Miami Heat jersey hanging in Boston’s rafters? … Why the f**k he got to hang in here. The things that come out of them people mouth when we playing there?”

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