Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

By Royce Young | NBA writer

His exit from Los Angeles might not have been pretty, but his time spent there was a beautiful thing. And for it, Shaquille O'Neal will forever hang in glory in the rafters of the Staples Center.

The Lakers announced Thursday they will retire Shaq's No. 34 jersey at halftime of their April 2 game against the Mavericks.

Shaq spent eight seasons with the Lakers (1996-2004), leading them to three NBA championships. He was named MVP once as a Laker (2000), Finals MVP three times (2000, 2001, 2002) and an All-Star seven times.

After a falling out with Kobe Bryant, Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, where he led them to a title in 2006.

The question is, will Shaq ever join Magic Johnson, Jerry West and now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in bronze outside Staples Center? His tenure wasn't extended in LA and it finished with some hurt feelings. But there's no denying the success Shaq contributed to while he was there.

The Lakers also announced Jamaal Wilkes will have his No. 52 jersey retired Dec. 28. Wilkes spent seven seasons as a Laker and was recently elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2012.

 
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