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Lakers to retire Shaq's No. 34

PExMan_00PExMan_00 PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
Lakers to retire Shaq's No. 34 - ESPN.com
LOS ANGELES -- Shaquille O'Neal will always have a special place in the hearts of Los Angeles Lakers fans for being named Finals MVP in all three of the Lakers' championships from 2000-02. Starting next season he'll also have a permanent place at Staples Center.

The Lakers will retire O'Neal's No. 34 jersey next season, team spokesman John Black confirmed Thursday.


S. O'Neal
A specific date will not be planned until the NBA releases the 2012-13 schedule this summer.

O'Neal retired in June after a 19-year, Hall of Fame-worthy NBA career. In the eight seasons he spent in Los Angeles from 1996-2004, the Lakers made the Finals four times, winning three championships, and O'Neal led the league in scoring while being named regular season MVP in 1999-00.

O'Neal will be the eighth player in Lakers franchise history to have his jersey retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain (No. 13), Elgin Baylor (No. 22), Gail Goodrich (No. 25), Magic Johnson (No. 32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (No. 33), James Worthy (No. 42) and Jerry West (No. 44).

All seven other Lakers players to have their number retired are members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

"It's deserved," Kobe Bryant said after the Lakers' 88-87 overtime win over the Boston Celtics on Thursday. "It's rightfully deserved."

O'Neal retired with career averages of 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 blocks per game on 58.2 percent shooting, but his numbers jumped to 27 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 blocks in 514 regular season games played in L.A.

He was even more impressive in the three Finals against Indiana, Philadelphia and New Jersey, averaging 35.9 points, 15.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in the Lakers' three series wins.

This week Bryant passed O'Neal's 28,596 career points to assume fifth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

"I want to personally congratulate Kobe on being the greatest Laker ever," O'Neal told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith shortly after Bryant passed his mark.

Said Bryant; "I appreciate it. I'm sure Shaq and I will connect at some point and revisit history. But it's fun. We had some good times, man. We had some good times. So thank you is what I have to say (to O'Neal)."

O'Neal wore No. 32 in Orlando to start his career but had to change to No. 34 when arriving in L.A. because of Johnson. He went back to No. 32 in Miami and Phoenix. He also wore No. 33 in Cleveland and No. 36 in Boston to finish his career.

The relationship between O'Neal and the Lakers spoiled before he was traded to the Heat in the summer of 2004. O'Neal butted heads with Bryant and was seeking a lucrative contract extension that the team did not want to offer, but time has helped repair the rift.

"Shaq had a long and amazing career, with a huge impact both on and off the court," Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss said in a statement when the big man retired. "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."
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Comments

  • strandedstrangerstrandedstranger PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Candidates for best bromance din pala si Kobe and Shaq basta lang magkaiba ng team.
  • luka_hunterluka_hunter PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    I'm wondrin' if Miami and Orlando are thinking of the same thing? But yeah, it's most fitting that his jersey gets retired where his career really flourished. I'm not a Lakers fan but I'm hoping Bynum develops into another true center. No one really played the legitimate 5 spot after the Big Fella.
  • i know the Lakers wouldn't have won those 3 titles in the early 2000s without Shaq, but dammit, this guy went to Boston to get a chance to stick it to LA and Kobe. so don't know what will I feel about this.
  • dudelebowskidudelebowski PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Diba galit sa kanya Orlando? For sure Miami will retire his jersey. The Heat's only championship was partly because of him.
  • strandedstrangerstrandedstranger PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    And Miami's disappointing post-championship season is also because of him. Don't take me wrong, I'm giving the guy some of my lovin'
  • well deserved SHAQ.

    I wish he spent his last season with the Lakers.
  • dudelebowskidudelebowski PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    And Miami's disappointing post-championship season is also because of him. Don't take me wrong, I'm giving the guy some of my lovin'

    Explain please. :)
  • spiceboy!spiceboy! PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    He deserves it. He brought the Lakers back to prominence and he was unstoppable during his tenure there.
  • Shaq was at his best from 1999-2002. He was just a monster. I mean, he could overpower five guys. There was just no antidote against him.
  • carshow wrote: »
    Shaq was at his best from 1999-2002. He was just a monster. I mean, he could overpower five guys. There was just no antidote against him.

    Hack-a-Shaq? I dunno if it was much of an antidote though. After all, Shaq makes them "when they count" hehe.

    Well deserved, Big Fella. I'm a big fan of Shaq, especially his personality. He's just like a kid who happened to grow 7 feet tall.
  • I think Olajuwon was the only antidote of Shaq but during Shaq's prime, the Dream is already on his expiration date.

    I've always liked the off-court Shaq. Such a great personality and a good entertainer.
  • strandedstrangerstrandedstranger PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Explain please. :)

    We all know what happened on the disappointing season following the Miami Championship against the Mavs.

    Anyway I did love this guy more than I did Kobe but I love my team more so I had to move-on (but whattheheck Miami also became my second favorite team after Shaq's transfer plus Wade ah too much lovin') and learn to love the Mamba.
  • JobyBryant24JobyBryant24 PEx Rookie ⭐
    i know the Lakers wouldn't have won those 3 titles in the early 2000s without Shaq, but dammit, this guy went to Boston to get a chance to stick it to LA and Kobe. so don't know what will I feel about this.
    Yeah part yan ng buhay ng mga NBA Superstar na naitrade. Pero give Shaq what he deserves!!! 3 Rings is something to give proper respect. Mahirap din yun. At least nag-retire sha na natikam nya yun. :glee:
  • i agree that shaq deserves to be honored as 1 of the lakers greatest player to wear a laker uniform...
  • strandedstrangerstrandedstranger PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Yeah part yan ng buhay ng mga NBA Superstar na naitrade. Pero give Shaq what he deserves!!! 3 Rings is something to give proper respect. Mahirap din yun. At least nag-retire sha na natikam nya yun. :glee:

    This. I mean the guy gave you three trophies and you trade him so what would you feel? Give him a break, after all donning the green jersey wasn't truthful.
  • Hack-a-Shaq? I dunno if it was much of an antidote though. After all, Shaq makes them "when they count" hehe.

    Not really effective. I remember the 2000 Finals vs. the Pacers wherein Bird tried to use this against Shaq. We all know what happened. :)

    Basta, if there was one player who was virtually unguardable, it was the prime Shaq.
  • Tama lang na sa LA iretire ang jersey # ni shaq. Diyan kasi talaga nagpeak ang career niya.
  • PExMan_00PExMan_00 PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Diba retired Laker jerseys look like this:
    shaq-lakers.jpg

    Ganito kaya ang jersey na ire-retire nila sa Staples?
    Shaq-Lakers-m.jpg
  • casey12casey12 PEx Rookie ⭐
    carshow wrote: »
    Not really effective. I remember the 2000 Finals vs. the Pacers wherein Bird tried to use this against Shaq. We all know what happened. :)

    Basta, if there was one player who was virtually unguardable, it was the prime Shaq.

    True!*okay* Shaq was an unstoppable force. Shaq averaged 38 points and 17 rebounds in the 2000 Finals against the Pacers, 33 and 16 in 2001 against the Sixers and 36 and 12 in 2002 against the Nets.:eek:

    Congrats Big Fella. Well deserved!
  • strandedstrangerstrandedstranger PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    PExMan_00 wrote: »
    Diba retired Laker jerseys look like this:
    http://www.sportsgrindent.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/shaq-lakers.jpg

    Ganito kaya ang jersey na ire-retire nila sa Staples?
    http://thatsenuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Shaq-Lakers-m.jpg

    I'm just wondering what's that ribbon with the US flag on the right side (our left) of his jersey?
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