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Friday, February 10th, 2012 at 2:20 pm  |  26 responses

Los Angeles Lakers to Retire Shaquille O’Neal’s Jersey Next Season


When the Los Angeles Lakers traded Shaquille O’Neal away following the disastrous 2004 NBA Finals, the organization promised him that no one would ever wear his iconic #34 jersey number again. And at some yet-to-be-determined point next season, its official retirement will take place. Per the OC Register: “O’Neal’s No. 34 jersey will hang alongside other Lakers greats in the rafters of the arena when the Lakers retire his number at a yet-undetermined date. The 7-foot-1 center was scheduled to have his number retired this season, but the unpredictability of the lock out made scheduling the ceremony difficult. O’Neal helped the Lakers win three NBA championships and was named Finals MVP all three times during his eight seasons in Los Angeles. The future Hall-of-Famer led the league in scoring and was named the league’s regular-season MVP in 1999-2000. Kobe Bryant, who didn’t always get along with O’Neal, called the honor ‘rightfully deserved.’”

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  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    shaq on the lakers in the early 2000s- most dominate thing ive ever seen in sports

  • LA Huey

    Good stuff. I’m surprised to see how few numbers the Lakers have retired compared to Boston.

  • dahive

    shaq on tnt last night thinking they guys were just messing with him was funny

  • Rik Smits Mullet

    well deserved my favorite center ever.

  • http://juan.garcia@computershare.com POW

    The Lakers retire legends of the game… not team legends like Norm Nixon, Byron Scott… AC Green,Horry, etc. They also only hang up Championship banners. “Commitment to Excellence” belongs to the Lakers

  • Jeremy

    People talk about Iverson being wasted talent, I think this guy is one of few examples of dudes who lived up to the hype, but still failed at reaching full potential. Not bashing because he was something else, but sometime you gotta wonder… Kobe could use the same line for Shaq.. “B*tch you wasn’t with me shootin’ in the gym”

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    ^UGH!

  • shutup

    so what do you think his full potential was? You think that type of footwork comes easy? it used to make me sick , hearing people talk about oh, hes just bullying people, do you realize the numbers he woulda had if just half the flops werent called. This dude made grown @$$ men look like little boys, Mr Ben Wallace for example, I know someone that used to work out with him rumor has it dude was curling 300lbs, CURLING. How in the hell is someone gonna knock you down ten times in a game????

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    This is well deserved.

  • http://Www.achtamsterdam.nl Phil

    Riks Smits wasn’t your favourite center? Lol

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    How many players in history dominated and won 3 straight Final MVPs?

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    it’s gonna be an awkward reunion. is Phil Jax gonna be there?

  • http://espn.com PapaDuck

    will they retire both number 8 and number 24 once Kobe retires?

  • Dungeon Family

    I knew the little lame ass @jtaylor21 would get off on this post

    Typical

  • Jay F Weezy F stands for Franchise

    about time!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ Shutup – I believe Mr. Ben Wallace’s team won against him in the finals…pick a better example…

  • robb

    Shaq was a tremendous athlete who had great coordination for a guy his size, he wasn’t only power and strength. Well deserved.

  • shutup

    so winning in the finals takes away the fact that Ben Wallace used to flop like a dying fish if Shaq touched him? I think not, but other examples are Divac, Sabonis and countless others, the reason I picked Wallace out is because he had such an imposing physique its unrealistic to think that Shaq could drop him so many times in one game. and didnt those lakers win the chip like 3 straight years before that?

  • Justin G.

    I wonder what would have happened if these guys had decided to man up and play as hard defense as they could instead of flopping around trying to get calls? I mean, take Dennis Rodman for example. Yes he flopped a lot too, but when he played against Shaq he took the punishment and stood his ground in the post as much as he could. And he was 6’6″, maybe 215 lbs? This is obviously a much deserved honour for one of the greats in history. Think Miami will follow suit?

  • L

    MJ was more dominant.L

  • Yesse

    Good for him. I think he deserves it anyway.

  • shutup

    I respect Mutumbo for trying too, even though sometimes he got tossed up like a rag doll. I really think they should try to implement a yellow card type rule to discourage flopping

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    Good stuff. This needed to happen.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Mutumbo ate so many elbows that year in ’01, it ain’t even funny. But the man just stood back in there every single time.

  • shutup

    Mutumbo gave his fair share of elbows himself, but I respect his effort, too many people use the flop as a way out from playing real D

  • Gusist

    @ papa duck, that is a good point, I think they should retire 8 and 24 when Kobe retires

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