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Lakers to retire Shaquille O’Neal’s number 34 on April 2

Aug 30, 2012, 7:58 PM EST

O'NEAL AP

Because there were not going to be enough Dwight Howard to Shaquille O’Neal comparisons this season, best to just bring Shaq in and have him there.

The Lakers have said for a while they would retire the jersey of Shaquille O’Neal, and now a date has been set for that — April 2, reports Kevin Ding at the Orange County Register. That is a game against the Dallas Mavericks.

While some Laker fans are still (are always?) bitter about how he left and this said about Kobe Bryant, owner Jerry Buss said before Shaq would get his number retired There had been a theory that the Lakers would not retire Shaq’s jersey until after Kobe has his retired (which number for Kobe is another question). But now that Kobe has one more ring than Shaq he is magnanimous in victory so it happens sooner.

And Shaq deserves to have his jersey on the wall up there Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who is getting a statue in front of Staples Center earlier in the season). By the way, George Mikan’s number should be up on that wall, too, even if he played in Minneapolis before the team moved to L.A. Shaq spent 8 years with the Lakers, won three titles and averaged 27 points and 11.8 rebounds a game, plus won an MVP award.

Shaq is one of the great centers to play the game, in a long line of great Lakers centers.

No pressure Dwight. None at all.

  1. cramsinned - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Shaqtin a fool

  2. eureca323 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Well deserved. He dominated for a 3 peat. First ever Lakers 3 peat. Only the Bulls and Celtics the other teams that have 3 peat’ed. Obviously a no brainer. It was just a matter of the messy divorce maybe delaying it slightly.

    • miamatt - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:55 PM

      I think it was more a matter of Shaq still being an active player in the league until 2011 delaying it, but your first point is well stated. A no brainer for the Lakers.

    • zblott - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:33 AM

      Shaq actually provided more to his teams over the years than either Wilt or Hakeem, which is why he’s the 3rd best center of all-time.

      Want to see a comparison of attributes/contributions?:

      http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2011/6/2/shaqs-place-among-the-best-centers-ever.html

  3. rocketsbb - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    If they had better team chemistry these guys could’ve won a couple more and maybe even beat that 04 pistons team.

  4. j0esixpack - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    There is no question he deserves this.

    Bravo Shaq!

  5. manchestermiracle - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    For the love of journalism, Kurt, get a proofreader already.

    • dondada10 - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      Quite the sentence:

      “While some Laker fans are still (are always?) bitter about how he left and this said about Kobe Bryant, owner Jerry Buss said before Shaq would get his number retired There had been a theory that the Lakers would not retire Shaq’s jersey until after Kobe has his retired (which number for Kobe is another question).”

  6. timb12 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    I hope it’s a statue of him doing something great. Like high stepping down court, dancing, or staring at his hand.

  7. money2long - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Can’t wait to see the Kobe element that night. I assume the camera pans to Kobe’s face a lot. I assume he and Shaq embrace. Also, Phil Jackson has to show up to this right? The big 3 in the staples that night. Should be cool to watch.

  8. dysraw1 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Shack daddy ,the big cactus superman b-ball entertainment at its best much love

  9. 00maltliquor - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Shaq in a Lakers jersey were some of my happiest, most memorable years as a sports/basketball/Laker fan. Well deserved. Thanks for the memories, and the rings Shaq.

    I don’t think I’ll ever see a player quite like Shaq for the rest of my lifetime with all the skills, power and dominance he possesed. I remember back in middle school when he hit free agency I prayed every breakfast, lunch and dinner, when I woke up to when I went to bed that the Lakers would sign him. I couldn’t believe it when they did, I still remember the newspaper that morning, The Press-Enterprise with Shaq in a Purple and Gold and the header saying “Cash Cow”. I think back then he had signed a 7 year, $120 million dollar deal that was the largest ever seen at that time.

    Woulda been funny if they woulda scheduled that jersey retirement playing against ORL instead of DAL. For multiple reasons!

  10. lakerluver - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    @timb12, he’s getting his jersey retired, Kareem is getting a statue. Anyway, yeah, well deserved. I too hated that Kobe & Shaq couldn’t coexist longer. It is no telling how many titles they would’ve won. I agree with what Shaq has said many times, they were the best duo ever. During those 3 title winning seasons Shaq was utterly dominant. I almost felt pity for the centers he faced in those 3 Finals. Mutumbo was the best defensive center in the league and Shaq just abused him. If Shaq had the attitude and drive that Kobe has he could’ve been the greatest center ever.

    • camnellum12 - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:49 PM

      Or the greatest player ever. Seriously, Shaq coasted in the regular season most of his career, and only won 1 MVP. His game was the potential of 5 or 6 MVP’s. People claim Shaq is the 2nd coming of Wilt Chamberlain, but Wilt was a better defender, rebounder, and scorer, so Shaq was about half (or less) of what Wilt was. It’s crazy to me that Shaq NEVER won a rebounding title, and after his rookie season, was a lazy defender. He was a lazy/goofy player, but when April/May came around, he was all business. That’s what makes me laugh about other Laker fans that was happy when Bynum left, because he had the same mindset, but he wasn’t the No.1 option. Anyway, I’m glad Shaq is getting his number retired and he should, he’s the 2nd or 3rd best center in franchise history.

  11. manotas211 - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Well deserved. I’m glad the Lakers are going to retire Shaq’s jersey. Thanks for those 8 years of dominance. Shaq the most dominant Laker.

  12. stayhigh_247 - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    It’s only right….Shaq was a beast! The Lakers front office has been making some really good decisions this summer. Kareem should of had his statue first though before Ervin….just sayin…

    • badintent - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:49 AM

      What’s Kareem getting his statue for ? His wife beating, dope smoking arrest, or his whining bigot remarks over 20 years.?? He was never in the running to be a head coach despite his playing experience and high Basketball IQ.Loser. On Friday night videos( right here on ProBasketball), I saw Wilt’s sky hook shot, 20 years before Kareem’s. Kareem couldn’t hold Wilt’s jock. I still remember Elvin “Big E” Hayes pouring 39 points on Lewis in the biggest college game ever !!

  13. fordmandalay - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    CAN YOU DIG IT???

  14. timb12 - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Whoops. But either way I love Shaq. The only bad thing you can say about Shaq is that he gave Aries Spears work with that awful Shaq impression.

  15. cosanostra71 - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    I won’t lie and say I’m not still a little bitter about everything that happened (mostly what he said after he was traded) but Shaq is one of the most deserving Lakers as far as retiring numbers. He did so much for the franchise, an all-time great. Those three title teams were some of the more fun teams to watch in my lifetime. I hope they retire George Mikan’s number too.

  16. congocash - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Maybe they’ll have pity on us and retire his tnt jersey also.

    • bougin89 - Aug 31, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      I loved Shaq as a player but man he is brutal on TNT.

  17. fm31970 - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    You mean “retire #34 again”, right?:

    34 — Clyde Lovellette, Minneapolis Lakers. Lovellette was one of the earliest centers to mix bruising interior toughness with the ability to score from the outside. In a six-season span from 1955 to 1961 during his Hall of Fame career, Lovellette averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals and St. Louis Hawks. It was not weird that the Lakers retired his number in Minneapolis. What was weird was that, when Shaquille O’Neal signed with the Lakers more 30 years later, the team issued him No. 34 anyway. Oh, well. Since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles, snubs of Lovellette have been common

    Read more at: http://media.nesn.com/2012/08/michael-jordan-dan-marino-ted-turner-among-top-10-weirdest-retired-numbers-in-nba/5/

  18. chicagosworth - Aug 31, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Deserved

  19. omniusprime - Sep 1, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Nice to see the Lakers honor a truly great center, Shaquille O’Neal. It will be great to see Shaq’s number up there with the other Laker greats, eat your hearts out rest of the NBA! I hope that on April 2nd Howard sees this and makes a commitment to earning the opportunity to have his number retired as a Laker great who won several championships. Kobe’s number definitely belongs up there after he retires, both of them.

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