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Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

Posted on: June 1, 2011 8:55 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 9:12 pm
The Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly retire center Shaquille O'Neal's jersey. Posted by Ben Golliver. shaquille-oneal

Throughout Wednesday, tributes to Shaquille O'Neal have poured in from the likes of NBA commissioner David Stern after the center announced his retirement on Twitter.

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor O'Neal in the most visible way possible: by retiring his No. 34 jersey. reports that a Lakers spokesperson has committed to retiring O'Neal's jersey but does not yet have a timeline in mind.
"We don't have any specific timetable on this, but you can be assured we will retire Shaq's jersey," said Lakers spokesman John Black in an email on Wednesday.

"We don't have a specific policy on it," Black wrote. "As you know, players have to wait five years to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but we could possibly do a jersey retirement ceremony for Shaq prior to that."
O'Neal paired with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant to win three titles for the franchise. His time with the Lakers is generally regarded as the high point of his career, making the jersey retirement decision a no-brainer.

Earlier Wednesday, Lakers owner Jerry Buss recognized O'Neal for that accomplishment in a press release.

"Shaq had a long and amazing career," Buss said. "A huge impact both on and off the court.  His contributions were significant to the entire NBA, but we specifically appreciate what he did with and what he meant to the Lakers during his eight years with us. We have three championships that we wouldn’t have won without him, and we will forever be grateful for his significant contributions to those teams."

It will be interesting to see which -- if any -- of the other teams that O'Neal played for will follow suit. Orlando, where he began his career, would seem to be a no-brainer. Despite the heartbreak of leaving the city for the Lakers, he was the face of the franchise and guided the Magic to the NBA Finals. Miami is another possibility. O'Neal teamed with guard Dwyane Wade to help the Heat win the 2006 title. His other stops -- Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston -- will probably pass.

The Lakers have only retired the jerseys of seven players to date. All seven have been selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The full list: 
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- No. 33
  • Elgin Baylor -- No. 22
  • Wilt Chamberlain -- No. 13 
  • Gail Goodrich -- No. 25
  • Magic Johnson -- No. 32
  • Jerry West -- No. 44
  • James Worthy -- No. 42

Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: June 2, 2011 10:35 am

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

IMO, I strongly feel a few more Lakers should have their numbers retired or at the very least considered for retirement:

#4 - Byron Scott, SG, 1983-1993, 1996-1997 - A very quality, capable perimeter player and has 3 rings.
#45 - A.C. Green, PF, 1985-1993, 1999-2000 - AKA the "Iron Man" for his consecutive games played streak of 1,192 games.  A steady, serviceable big man and has 3 rings as well.

Just my opinion of course.  Neither will make the "Hall of Fame" but I think their contribution to the Lakers shouldn't go unnoticed. 

Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: June 2, 2011 10:25 am

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

Nice Post!!!! Shaq definitely deserves to have his #34 retired.  He did get 3 rings and had he stayed, he probably would have had at least 2-3 more but that's a whole other conversation.

Since: Feb 10, 2010
Posted on: June 2, 2011 9:26 am

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

I personally didn't think the Lakers should retire Shaq's jersey, yet after rethinking it, #34 deserves to be hanging in the Staples Center.  Shaq pissed a lot of Laker fans off when he began trying to chase championships in Cleveland and Boston.  Still, the work he did in a Laker uniform can not be undone.  And in the end he ended up being a Laker after all by screwing over Boston the entire 2010-2011 season and playoffs.  Once a Laker always a Laker I guess.  As for all of the other teams deciding to retire his jersey, if the NBA allows that to happen nearly a quarter of the league won't be able to have a #34 on their roster.

Since: Oct 5, 2010
Posted on: June 2, 2011 8:53 am

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

I really doubt that Shaq road Kobe's coat tails to three titles. The two played very well together but let's not forget, Shaq was in his prime and was undeniably the team's first option. He was a rebounding force and also unstopppable if played one on one. Kobe had the freedom to roam due to the defenses focusing on Shaq and double teaming him. No matter how great a player is he needs help and he got that help from Kobe Bryant. Michael had Scottie Pippen, Magig had Kareem and Worthy, Bird had Parrish and McHale, Isiah Thomas had Joe Dumars etc. Shaq was great for the league and had a duende about him that others do not have. He wouldn't have probably won the titles without Kobe but they would not even be contending without the big fella. By the way, I beleive Shaq was the MVP all three years they won and he also nabbed one regular season MVP. The numbers don't lie, so stop hatin on the big fella.

Since: Jun 1, 2011
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:48 pm

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

You may want to check your stats again.  Shaq led the team in scoring against Portland and Sac in the western finals.  He truly was dominant during the Lakers 3 year title reign and to say he owes Kobe for the titles they won together is a joke.  Shaq completely dominated the playoffs while he was with the Lakers and he should be given proper credit for his skills.

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: June 1, 2011 10:55 pm
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