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.’”