In a tweet, the Miami Heat announced that they would retiring the jersey number of Shaquille O’Neal at the start of next season.
O’Neal played for the Heat from 2004 to 2008 and won a championship with the team in 2006.
During O’Neal’s career in South Florida, Miami won three-straight division titles, and played in two Eastern Conference championships.
O’Neal wore number 32 during his time with the Heat.
“Shaquille O’Neal is one of the truly elite players in the history of the game and one of the greatest players to ever wear a HEAT uniform,” Heat President Pat Riley said in a press release. “He took us to another level as a basketball franchise while leading us to our first NBA championship. Retiring his number in the rafters, along with HEAT greats Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, is something we are very proud of.”
O’Neal still holds the record as Miami’s all-time leader in field goal percentage (.596) according to the press release.
We’re Shaq’ing Up!
#32 is headed to the @aaarena rafters in 2016. Congrats @SHAQ!https://t.co/RbzASg8Rfm
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 9, 2016
Cover Photo Credit: Miami Heat/ Twitter
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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Dear Dwyane Wade: An Open Letter From HEAT NationBy Contributor
By Rey Valdes
Dear Dwyane Wade,
I’m going to start this off with a disclaimer because no man should be this sad about another man moving to another state.
Obviously there are worse things in this world, far worse. But sport is our escape from all that, a distraction from our lives.
And you were the embodiment of sports in Miami for 13 years. You helped us forget about everything that was bothering us, for a couple hours each night, 82+ nights a year, over more than a decade.
That’s what makes us fans, the term “fanatical.” While I shouldn’t rationally feel this way, I identify myself as a Miami HEAT fanatic, and you were the HEAT. Forgive me for being a little emotional.
I went through all five stages of grief after SportsManias gave me the alert that you had signed with Chicago.
I looked for a conflicting report.
I was furious at you, at Pat Riley, at Mickey Arison, Lebron, Chris Bosh, everyone.
I offered to pay for your contract with money I don’t have, to no one that was listening.
And I’m currently between depression and acceptance.
Let me get back to the anger for a second.
Some Miami HEAT fans will be really mad at you. Some will be really mad at Pat or the HEAT or whoever else. It’s part of the process.
Both of you were using our emotions as leverage.
“You don’t want to piss off the fans,” is exactly what I could imagine you guys silently mouthing every time a “report” was “leaked” from either side. I fell for it, although I’m not sure what and how much is true at this point.
What I do know is that you felt slighted, and that there is likely a reason you decided not to continue playing here.
I won’t try to guess what it was or what took it over the edge. I’m only sorry that it happened. I’m sorry you felt the way you did. And I’m sorry that you left because of it.
However, you should know that we appreciate you. We never took you for granted. We loved it when Lebron was here and watching you guys win two titles was incredible.
But you were introduced last for a reason. You always got the most applause. You weren’t the best player on those teams, but you were (are!) our favorite.
You piqued our interest when you, Lamar Odom, and Caron Butler beat out Baron Davis and the Hornets your rookie year.
You stole our hearts when you and Shaq won in 2006 in one of the greatest finals performances of all time.
I will never forget being at Game 5, down 12 to the Mavericks with 5 minutes left, and watching you put the team on your back and lead us to one of the best comebacks of all time.
Then you worked with Pat to bring Lebron and Chris down here for an unforgettable four years.
That Mavericks game is second only to Ray Allen’s shot out of the corner in Game 6. Finally, you cemented your legacy when you, again, sacrificed for us and came back once Lebron left.
This hurts, but it will not change all the good memories we have of you.
I’ll be there when we retire your number and when we unveil the statue of your fade-away jumper outside the American Airlines Arena. We will not forget.
But we aren’t Wade groupies; we are HEAT Nation.
Forgive us for not becoming Bulls fans.
We will not make a villain out of Pat, or Mickey, or anyone associated with our team.
We need them now to help us get through this.
We will figure something out and hopefully beat the shit out of the Bulls next time we play.
We only wish you would have been on our side.
I promise we’ll give you the loudest ovation you’ve ever heard after the video on the jumbotron is over, and only boo you after our tears have dried and Hassan Whiteside has won the tip.
Now someone play Seven Nation Army!
Wish you the best of luck in Chicago Dwyane.
Thank you for everything.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 707
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Welcome To The Florida Keys, Where The Chickens Sleep In Trees (That Rhymes)By Staff Report
After Hurricane Irma carved a large swath of destruction across the natural landscape of the Florida Keys, there are signs that life is starting to return to normal there.
On Sugarloaf Key for example, the chickens have returned to their perches in trees.
This may be a strange sight for many in South Florida, but according to Keys resident Rodney Richardson- this is pretty normal.
And that’s a good thing.
Take a look at the funny scene in a video Richardson sent to RISE NEWS:
Have you ever seen this type of thing in your neighborhood?
Please enjoy our “free days” until Monday November 6th. Starting on that day, our website will only be available to RISE NEWS members. You are not going to want to miss out on our pathbreaking local journalism and valuable member deals! Become a member today!Post Views: 957
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It’s Time For FIU Students And Grads To Stop Cheering For UM, So FIU Can RiseBy Contributor
This story was originally published on risemiaminews.com on June 11, 2015.
By Santiago Archieri
Growing up in Miami, there was one clear-cut favorite of who I would root for.
When my best friends and I would gear up in our orange and green outfits, we screamed our hearts out in Sun Life stadium. The “U” was what it was always all about.
As the college years went on, I saw two of my best friend’s transition to Duke and Gator fans, while some of us went to Florida International University. Although the University of Miami was my dream school for as long as I can remember, I had to become a Golden Panther.
I was there at every tailgate, stayed till 1 AM at a football game, hell, I even became an FIU cheerleader.
But up until a few weeks back I was conflicted.
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It was one of the biggest college baseball games in Miami in recent memory, as FIU traveled 9 miles to Coral Gables to play the Hurricanes. For me, was it going to be UM or FIU gear that I donned at Mark Light?
Turned out to be FIU.
But not everyone has a smooth transition to acquaint themselves with “Panther Pride”. The University of Miami is the big brother school of FIU, and they never are humble about it.
This is completely understandable. I know the legacy “The U” holds, I know their 6 football national championships (and yes I include 2002), I know the bad boy Hurricane days.
I know it all, but going to FIU makes me realize how much pride I have for my own school.
As FIU is celebrating its 50th year as a university, it is well on the rise. FIU is one of the biggest schools in the nation when it comes to students enrollment, has some top notch undergrad programs and a fast growing law school.
And like some other sports in South Florida, fans start to fill the stadium when FIU starts winning.
The glory days of T.Y. Hilton displayed that fact, as fans started to stand on the top deck of the small stadium to cheer on the then conference winning football team. T.Y. led us to a new conference, led us to constructing a bigger stadium, and potentially saved FIU football.
This year, Panther fans saw our swimming and diving team win the conference, they saw the baseball team win the conference title as an 8th seed, they tuned into ESPN to watch FIU own the number one play on SportsCenter when Dennis Mavin hit a ridiculous half court, double pump buzzer beater in the conference tournament for basketball in Birmingham.
All these small things start to add up for FIU fans. The UM-FIU baseball matchup was a perfect example. As I walked in, it was amazing to see so much navy blue and gold.
In a sea of Hurricanes, I could see fellow Panthers, and even though it was a loss, I am sure every FIU fan there was beyond excited to root for their team.
Bring up the empty stadiums, the tough sports history, and the fact that FIU might not have an amazing reputation. But this is all going to change in the future, and it starts with people being proud of their school.
The biggest question I received all my senior year in high school was “Why FIU?”
And now, I know it to be the best decision I ever made. I see those true FIU fans, and know that they are starting to create a trend that can’t be stopped.
What do you think? Should FIU grads stop cheering for UM and better support their school? Let us know in the comments below.Post Views: 985
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