Shaquille O’Neal will become the third Miami Heat player to have his number retired, with the team announcing today that O’Neal’s No. 32 will join the No. 33 of Alonzo Mourning and No. 10 of Tim Hardaway already raised to the rafters at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“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 statement. “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’s jersey will be raised early next season, with the 2016-17 schedule not to be released until mid-summer.
With O’Neal honored for his relatively brief Heat tenure and single championship with the franchise, it makes it all but inevitable the Heat eventually will retire LeBron James‘ No. 6, with James spending more time with the franchise and winning two titles in his four seasons with the team.
Dwyane Wade created a memorial for Laquan McDonald the one place he knew everyone would look. The Miami Heat player etched the slain Chicago teen’s name into his game day sneakers, along with the hashtags “#Chicago” and “#Justice.”
It was a simple yet powerful way to honor the 17-year-old, who was shot 16 times by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014. Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder last week after dash-cam footage revealed the grisly details behind McDonald’s death.
While many have taken to the streets to protest, Wade — a Chicago native — recognized that his feet gain special attention during games and would make a fitting place for a tribute.
Dwyane Wade, a star player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association and an alumnus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has pledged to donate $195,000 over three years through his Wade’s World Foundation to support a program to reduce the racial literacy gap among inner-city children.
The funds will be used to launch the Live to Dream summer reading program for second and third graders in Milwaukee public schools. Tutors from the university’s Ralph C. Hartman Literacy and Learning Center will help the children overcome any reading problems. Children will receive free transportation to the center for tutoring sessions. A book drive was held at a recent men’s basketball game at Marquette where attendees were asked to donate a book appropriate for young readers that will given to children in the summer reading program.
“Marquette has always been a champion of literacy, and this significant gift from Dwyane Wade and his foundation will give more children at risk of reading failure a much greater chance at a high quality of life,” said Dr. William Henk, dean of the College of Education. “To ensure their success in today’s world, we need to help them become skilled and confident in terms of their ability to read, write and listen.”
Some really big news for Alonzo Mourning, who won his NBA title with Miami Heat. Mourning’s not only being inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, but it’s a nice addition to being a board member of his alma mater, Georgetown University.
Mourning is joined by former NBA star Mitch Richmond and NCAA championship-winning coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams.
“I didn’t understand the prestige of this university, the global prestige of this university,” Mourning said. “Never in my wildest dreams would I ever thought as a freshman that I would be sitting on the board of that university. Now I’m rubbing elbows with CEOs and billionaires and individuals that helped change this world.”
With 668 wins under his belt, Williams definitely deserves his honor. “I was just a coach,” Williams said. “To be able to go in with Nolan certainly is great.”
Starz has given a series order to the basketball comedy from NBA star LeBron James. The half-hour scripted series, Survivor’s Remorse, is set in the world of professional basketball and, according to the series description, “explores the comedy and drama of an experience that everyone reads about but few understand — what truly happens when you make it out.” The comedy was announced last September and the shot clock is ticking fast, with a fall premiere being eyed. For the premium channel that has steadily crafted a brand of sweeping period dramas, Survivor’s Remorse marks a toe-dipping back into the comedy waters.
It centers on Cam Calloway, a basketball powerhouse in his early 20s who must navigate the limelight after inking a multimillion-dollar contract with a professional basketball team. Something the Miami Heat star might know something about. James serves as an executive producer, alongside Tom Werner (Roseanne, That ’70s Show), Maverick Carter, Paul Wachter and Mike O’Malley (actor on Glee, writer on Shameless), who will also write.
“Ever since I got cut from the freshman hoop team at Bishop Guertin High School in 1980, I’ve wanted to write about my love and hatred of basketball,” O’Malley said in a statement. “Starz has given us great freedom to explore an authentic world inspired by Maverick and LeBron. Tom’s legendary TV career and his experiences as a professional sports owner combined with Paul’s wealth of business and entertainment industry relationships have given this team a truly strong foundation to build a successful series.”
The stars of the Miami Heat and head coach Erik Spoelstra joined Michelle Obama at the White House to help promote her “Let’s Move” campaign.
LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen were on hand to film a short video, encouraging viewers to eat healthy. The group eats apples and drinks water throughout the promo, which is capped off with the first lady dunking a mini basketball into a hoop held by James.
All 20 NBA teams playing today will wear special shooting shirts in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. The NBA announced their “Dream Big” campaign earlier this month to celebrate MLK Day and Black History Month.
A video featuring Chris Bosh aired during four nationally televised games today, as well as during games aired on NBA TV. Original content and interviews will run on air and digitally on NBA.com until the end of February.
The shooting shirt for MLK Day features the “Dream Big” logo on the front. The shooting shirt for Black History Month was created in collaboration with Miami Heat guard Ray Allen. The shirt will feature four prominent African-Americans, Dr. King, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman and Bill Russell, in the NBA logo on the front and the “Dream Big” logo on the back.
The NBA’s “Dream Big” campaign is also designed to reach children and educate them on the history of African-Americans. The league is teaming up with EverFi, an educational technology company, launch digital curriculum in 30 schools across the country during February. The curriculum is focused on the extensive contributions by blacks.
“The ‘Dream Big’ campaign honors African-Americans for their countless contributions that have opened doors for people around the world,” said Saskia Sorrosa, NBA Vice President of Multicultural/Targeted Marketing in a press release. “With the the NBA’s young and diverse fanbase, we felt it was important to creat a program that would engage kids by educating them about black history to positively impact the future.”
Keep an eye out for the new shooting shirts today and throughout the month of February.