NBA

Which players deserve to have their jerseys retired next?

Following Pau Gasol's retirement, the Los Angeles Lakers swiftly announced that the two-time champion's No. 16 jersey would be heading into the rafters alongside the franchise's other legendary players.

Later this season the Boston Celtics will retire Kevin Garnett's No. 5, while Zach Randolph and Tony Allen will also have their jerseys retired by the Memphis Grizzlies this season.

Having your jersey retired is the ultimate honour and that got us thinking, who's next? Our NBA.com staff shares their picks of who among the current retired players should be next in line.

Dennis Rodman

Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane): It's time to send Dennis Rodman's No. 91 into the United Center rafters.

The list of Chicago Bulls retired jerseys is a short one, with only four players receiving the honour in Jerry Sloan (No. 4), Bob Love (No. 10), Michael Jordan (No. 23) and Scottie Pippen (No. 33).

Jordan and Pippen led the Bulls to their most successful era, lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy six times and right by their side for the second three-peat was Dennis Rodman, forming a devastating Big 3.

He averaged 5.2 points and 15.3 rebounds per game in his three seasons with the Bulls, leading the league in rebounding in each season and was named to the All-Defensive First Team in 1996 when they won 72 games.

Rodman had his No.10 jersey retired by the Detroit Pistons in 2011, where he won two championships and if any Bulls player deserves to join Jordan and Pippen in the rafters, it's definitely Rodman.

Shaquille O'Neal

Yash Matange (@yashmatange2694): The player I'm going to mention already has his jersey retired by two franchises but is certainly deserves a third and that's Shaquille O'Neal. I understand that there are a number of players I could have considered who deserve the honour and don't have their numbers retired by one franchise, however, O'Neal's case stuns me.

Because his number has been retired by the Los Angeles Lakers (No. 34) and Miami Heat (No. 32), it's often overlooked that his number isn't retired in Orlando.

Sure, he didn't win a championship there as he did with the other two franchises, but his tenure with the Magic was what made the franchise, which was formed only three earlier, a contender let alone just relevant.

From getting drafted No. 1 in the 1992 Draft until leaving as a free agent in 1996, O'Neal won Rookie of the Year, was voted an All-Star each season and received All-NBA recognition thrice with averages of 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 2.5 assists across 295 games. In those four years, along with Penny Hardaway, he led the Magic to a 208-120 record - the second-most successful four-year period in franchise history which included one Conference Finals appearance and one NBA Finals appearance. It only falls short of the 222-106 record that the Magic registered between 2007 and 2011.

If the franchise does retire his jersey, he would join Wilt Chamberlain and Pete Maravich as the only players in NBA history to have their numbers retired by three franchises.

Tracy McGrady

Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): It's time to retire Tracy McGrady's jersey.

McGrady is an admittedly tricky one because he splits his prime over two teams, earning four All-Star and All-NBA selections with the Magic and three All-Star and All-NBA selections with the Rockets. Of the two teams, the Rockets are probably a safer bet to retire his jersey because the Magic are yet to retire anyone's jersey.

Plus, many of McGrady's best and most memorable moments came in a Rockets uniform.

Who can forget the time he scored 13 points in 35 seconds?

Or when he sucked the gravity out of the building?

Or when he drained the game-winning jumper in Game 2 of Houston's first-round series with Dallas to take a 2-0 lead? (Just don't look up how that series ended).

Or when he and Dirk Nowitzki went shot-for-shot in a thrilling duel?

As a self-proclaimed McGrady superfan, I understand that I might be slightly biased, but he's too good of a player to not have his jersey retired somewhere. Make it happen, Houston.

Amar'e Stoudemire

Kane Pitman (@KanePitman): I'm going outside the box in suggesting the Phoenix Suns should hang Amar'e Stoudemire's jersey in the rafters. Running alongside Steve Nash, Stoudemire and the Suns were easily one of the most entertaining and trend-setting teams of their era.

'S.T.A.T' spent eight seasons in Phoenix, winning the 2003 Rookie of the Year award before becoming a five-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA representative with the franchise.

Averaging 21.4 points and 8.9 rebounds in that stretch, Stoudemire was unstoppable rolling to the basket. He currently sits third in franchise history for rebounds (4613), fifth for blocks (722) and sixth in scoring (11,035).

Each franchise has different criteria for retiring jerseys but Stoudemire's record in Phoenix stacks up with some of the other numbers in the rafters. He did split his games between wearing the No. 32 and No. 1...so there is at least one challenge!

I guess if I am making the case for Stoudemire, Shawn Marion would probably also be raising his hand...

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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