Lakers retire Shaquille O’Neal’s #34 jersey at Staples Center
Shaquille O’Neal stood at half court of Staples Center Tuesday, flanked by his children and his mother night to watch his #34 jersey was retired and raised to the rafters by the Los Angeles Lakers.
A congratulatory video from Kobe Bryant was aired and Phil Jackson shared heartfelt sentiments on behalf of the Lakers organization, reminiscing about a few of Shaq’s most memorable antics.
Lakers EVP Jeanie Buss was emotional as she thanked Shaq for his “talent,” “sense of humor,” and “winning” before she led the countdown to the unveiling of the jersey, which hangs next to that of Magic Johnson’s.
As the crowd cheered, Shaq took the mic and offered his signature phrase of “Can you dig it?”
He dedicated the occasion to the late Dr. Jerry Buss, thanked his mom, saluted his dad, thanked his six children, as well as Jerry West, and Coach Phil Jackson (when he thanked Jackson, the entire arena erupted in a “We want Phil!” chant). And, of course he gave major love to all the Lakers fans.
O’Neal, who retired from the NBA in June 2011, joined the Lakers in 1996, after playing his first four years in the league with the Orlando Magic. In his eight seasons with the Lakers the team won three championships (2000, 2001, 2002).
Vid courtesy of @Jose3030.