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Friday, August 31st, 2012 at 11:20 am  |  46 responses

Lakers to Retire Shaquille O’Neal’s Jersey In April


The Los Angeles Lakers will retire Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 34 jersey at halftime of their April 2 game against the Dallas Mavericks. In eight seasons with the Lakers, O’Neal posted averages of 27 points, 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots, while leading L.A. to three Championships. The four-time NBA Champion and three-time Finals MVP will now join a prestigious fraternity of Laker greats in the rafters of the Staples Center. The Lakers, who had previously announced the retirement of O’Neal’s jersey, will also retire the No. 52 jersey of Jamaal Wilkes. Via the Orange County Register: “On the wall already by then will be Jamaal Wilkes’ No. 52, scheduled to be retired by the Lakers in an earlier ceremony in the coming season. Wilkes’ honor will be at halftime on Dec. 28 against Portland. The first reflective moment of the season will be the unveiling of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s statue at Star Plaza outside Staples Center on Nov. 16. Plans for the statue of Abdul-Jabbar and the jersey retirements for O’Neal and Wilkes were already confirmed last season by the Lakers. Wilkes was selected last season for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Lakers’ policy has been to retire the jerseys of all who are enshrined.”

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  • http://twitter.com/Gf0urce Gforce

    nice

  • bigA

    He was the beast ever. Most beastly that is.

  • MagicMaz

    The only thing that sucks is shaq’s Jersey will take up 2 spaces leaving less room for Kobe’s 2 Jerseys…

  • http://www.facebook.com/rig.veda.94 Rig Veda

    I do think Shaq deserve to get his jersey retire with the Lakers and as a fan I do appreciated his time here. Congratulation Shaq!

  • LakeShow

    MDE

  • spit hot fiyah

    that would be wilt

  • Redd

    Lakers are really trying to take advantage of this new found attention.. Wonder if this will deter Dwight from staying.

  • LakeShow

    Yeah good call…
    Dwight hates attention…


  • LakeShow

    Depends on if dominating smaller weaker opponents or men of similar stature is more impressive to you. Shaq is much more impressive to me than Wilt.
    Your free to your opinion though.

  • Redd

    Thanks sir stupid on misinterpretation, he also has an issue with Shaq. Were you expecting to seem like you made a point?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    The Lakers could have been so much more if Kobe and Shaq wernt such little vaginas. Mostly Kobe though. Shaq was just chillin.

  • Redd

    I’ll be enjoying watching Kobe’s “legacy” be equivalent to LBJ’s this season. GO LAKERS!

  • Drig

    Big man deserves his props……..Kobe Shaq at Staples court probably one last time….. :D

  • Drig

    :| ……. Yeah…… Nothing about the money. Nothing about him trying to get Kobe outta town like he did Nick and Jones before LAL won the 3peat……Mostly Kobe. I get the fact that Kobe was a dic k and shouldn’t have named Shaq during his case and all but let’s not act like Shaq was the sponge who only absorbed all of Kobe’s attacks and never hit back.

  • Rob

    All this will hopefully motivate Dwight to finally start his own legacy

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Wait, Shaq turned on Van Exel and Eddie Jones? Never heard that one before today. But Shaq left because he wanted one more max deal and Buss didn’t trust him. And of course Kobe told the Lakers he might bounce if Shaq didn’t. But it was mostly about the money and health problems. If Diesel was 100 percent the Lakers tell Kobe to get his mind right and shut up. Totally different legacy.

  • The Seed

    Why are they doing this now, when Shaq has an issue with Howard. Shaq jersey hanging over Howard ever game, might make him leave. But this is what I think will happen, Shaq will cut off his beef and congratualte Howard for being a Laker and state he has to live up to what I did and the other great centers. Lakers why, they could have made him wait like Kareem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    He was great but should have about 7 rings and 5 MVP’s if he had the insane drive of a Jordan or even Kobe.

  • The Big Balla

    Hey

  • The Big Balla

    Wow, it actually works. SLAM finally changed their comment section. Slow clap!

  • Drig

    Shaq tried to instigate shit between Kobe-Eddie-Excel during Kobe 2nd and 3rd years. Y’know, going to Excel and saying Kobe said this and then going to Kobe and saying Excel thinks this about you. Not in a good way that too. Excel-Kobe and Eddie-Kobe shared a very good rapport but it was Shaq who wanted them to be traded. And you’re right, if Shaq was healthy and in shape, LAL would’ve resigned him to a 4 year deal. And Kobe would either have to deal with it.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    You’re right Lake, dominating such juggernauts as Vlade Divac, old Dikembe Mutombo, old Arvydas Sabonis, Eric Dampier and Aaron Williams is so much more impressive than those midgets Wilt went up against… You know, little weaklings like Bill Russell and Willis Reed. I think I’ll go with Shaq as well.

  • john

    lol so Shaq didnt go against Hakeem or Patrick or Karl malond he only decided to play against the shitty centers and theres a calculator that shows you how much points a player would have avergaed because of pace and Shaq would have much better stats than them

  • Drig

    To the SLAM website guys, the number of comments on each story on the main page is showing zero for all of them since yesterday even when comments and reactions were posted. Would be awesome if you guys can rectify that, if you haven’t already started that is.

  • Quantumphysix

    Shaq>Kobe. There, I said it.
    Lakeshow….

  • spit hot fiyah

    numbers wise it is not even close. and there were quality big men in wilt’s era as well. 50 and 20!

  • spit hot fiyah

    if shaq would’ve avg 40+ in his era then i see an argument for shaq. but u have guys like olajuwon and robinson putting up numbers equal to shaq’s at the same time. and yes, i’m basing this strictly on numbers which might not be fair.

  • Comment_System

    source or im calling bullshit. this is the first time i ever heard about this.

  • BlackPhantom

    Shaq is one of the biggest reasons (both figuratively and literally) we rose back to prominence as a franchise in the late 90s-early 2000s. There isn’t much of a point in trying to hold some imaginary grudge and waiting til he’s Kareem’s age to honor him.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    What great centers did he play against as a Laker?
    Did he “dominate” against Hakeem or Patrick to the extent that Wilt did the centers of his day? How can Shaq be the “Most Dominant Ever” if he wasn’t even the best center of the ’90s? Both Hakeem and David Robinson > Shaq before he went to the Lakers. When Shaq won his chips, they were against old Arvydas, old Mutombo, old Vlade, and whatever center the Nets had (Aaron Williams). Shaq was great since he first entered the league, but he was not the best until those other guys retired. He was at his best in one of the weakest eras for centers in NBA history.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    How can someone who never led the league in rebounding be considered the most dominant player–let alone center–ever? That’s ridiculous. He couldn’t even do it once. Wilt led the league in rebounding 11 times.
    Shaq has 2 scoring titles; Wilt has 9. Just because Shaq was the *only* dominant center of your favorite era (the era of Kobe) doesn’t mean he was more dominant than guys you’ve never seen play. We shouldn’t even have this discussion until you can prove that he was more dominant than Hakeem in his prime (which he wasn’t).

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    7* scoring titles.

  • shutup

    Check Shaq’s early stats he came in the league avg 23+ and in his second year which was 93-94 he avg 29.3 the next year 94-95 he lead the league in scoring. Throughout the rest of the 90′s he avg 26+. Go back and look at the stats Shaq avg more ppg than both Olajuwan and Robinson in the period from 92-2000 while putting up > or comparable rebounding numbers. SMH …I hate when people make comments that aren’t based on any actual facts, the only thing the two you entioned did better was avg more blocks by a slim margin and that was mainly Olajuwan.

  • shutup

    you do realize you can edit your own posts? What was Olajuwan’s prime? year wise, or do you wanna compare the best 5 years of their careers? Also Shaq’s rebounding numbers are just as good as Robinson and Olajuwan’s. He actually has more total rebounds than Robinson and Olajuwan only has him beat by roughly 600 career rebounds; and their career avgs are eerily similiar (Olajuwan and Shaq @ 11.1 and 10.9 respectively, with Robinson trailing @ 10.6)

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Yes but did he “dominate” those centers like Lake said he did? Everyone knows Shaq was great in the ’90s, that doesn’t make him the most dominant center of that era, nor does it make him necessarily better than Hakeem or Robinson. Robinson you can argue, but for Hakeem it’s no contest. Better rebounder, better shot-blocker, better defender, and just as good on the offensive end (if not better). He also swept the Magic with–I would argue–inferior teammates compared to Shaq’s.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    So, can you actually prove to me that Shaq was more dominant than Hakeem Olajuwon besides scoring numbers–which really isn’t that indicative of anything, because Hakeem was one of the best offensive players ever?? Because, like I said, until we can ascertain whether or not he was more “dominant” (better) than Hakeem, making the leap to Wilt is even more absurd.
    We’re not arguing about whether or not Shaq was dominant–we’re arguing was he the MDE or not?
    (and I don’t have a discus account so I don’t think I can edit my comments… but that’s totally relevant).

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I will admit… I’m a bit of a Shaq hater. Mainly Lakers Shaq. Orlando Shaq is my favorite Shaq.

  • shutup

    Better rebounder? I say they are equal rebounders there isn’t much difference between 11.1 and 10.9. Wilt was great and I have him ahead of Shaq on my all-time list, but Shaq was the best center in the league for longer, comparing who Wilt played against and who Shaq played against is irrelevant, there are more teams now, by a large margin. Also Shaq has twice as many Championships and triple the amount of Finals MVP’s. I guess when people use the word dominant, powerful is what is alluded too, Shaq has been the most successful Power Center the league has ever seen, Wilt for being bigger than everyone else was more finesse (finger rolls and fall-aways….) Kareem was a better center than Shaq but does his name ever come up as dominant? Not so much; again finesse just like Olajuwan (whose moves were to counter-act contact).Shaq and Olajuwan is a matter of preference. I contend that he definition of “Dominant-Most important, powerful, or influential”; is more telling. Shaq was the best player in the NBA for longer, absolutely more powerful than Wilt and any of his (Shaq’s) contemporaries and Shaq has by far had more of an influence then Wilt has because of the era he played in and his extracurricular activities; he does have a platinum album ;)

  • shutup

    Yes, Shaq has more Championships and has more Finals MVP’s. BTW scoring is the most important aspect of basketball. the only reason career avg’s are close is because Shaq played 6 years once his production dropped off and Olajuwan only played 3, and Shaq has a better avg. Shaq also has more double digit trb avg seasons than Olajuwan 14-12 respectively.

  • shutup

    You cant prove that Wilt had stellar numbers against the better centers either, what was his avgs against Nate Thurmond and Bill Russell? There is no validity to the argument that the league had better comp at the center position back then.

  • shutup

    I understand, Shaq on Orlando was young and went after everything, as he got older he got smarter, and picked his spots, not necessarily being lazy but relying on his mind more than just his physical gifts. Also he got complacent in the idea he would be able to turn it on when it was needed.

  • PippenAintEasy

    Shaq = Underachiever. Should have had at least 3 MVPs and 6 titles. People forgot that he never played 100% ever again after getting that toe injured.

  • PippenAintEasy

    Shaq = Underachiever. Should have had at least 3 MVPs and 6 titles. People forgot that he never played 100% ever again after getting that toe injured.

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    if championships say it all, then we have nothing to argue here.

  • Jerome

    I gues it’s all bs?

  • Drig

    “I don’t think the Lakers will get out of the first round this year,” Van Exel told ESPN radio last week. “They’ve been struggling all season long. And it’s very, very hard to turn on a switch in the playoffs, especially when you’re going to have to face a team that’s not afraid of you anymore.”

    “He’d better play well, because if he don’t Del is going to trade him again. There are a lot front-runners in the league and he’s one of them.” O’Neal said. “When he was with Denver last year, you never heard of him. But he’s probably still mouthing off after I sent him to Denver like I said I was going to send him to Denver.”

    After Stockton destroyed him in the 1998 WCF and he pulled that “Cancun” , Shaq had had enough and demanded the Lakers lose Van Exel. (Hence his “Denver” comments above.) West pulled the plug.

    Re:Eddie, it was a mix of contract situation AND Shaq not wanting Eddie on the team because he felt Eddie underachieved when the pressure was on. He put pressure on the team to trade him for an almost at the end Glen Rice saying he needed “shooters who could handle the pressure”.Hell, I think O’Neal himself said that in a book in ’99. There was also a mention of it I think in the Last Season but not quite sure about that. ( damn, to think it came out almost 8 years and odd ago….. ). Eddie was willing to come off the bench as a power packed 6th man but no luck. Both of these are common knowledge among Laker fans who followed the team back in the day. You can still find guys who love Eddie and frown upon Shaq for forcing the hand of the FO. But hey, he got us a 3-peat.

    I didn’t reply till now because I’m still getting used to the new comments system and didn’t see this earlier.

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