Shaquille O’Neal is getting his statue outside Los Angeles Lakers’ Staples Center. The former Lakers’ star revealed a sneak peek look of the piece that will be installed and dedicated on Friday before the Lakers game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The statue certainly fits this beast’s style of play and when installed will show the seven-footer hanging ten feet above the ground, doing one of his patented two-handed dunks. Shaq posted this photo of the statue on his Twitter account as it was being moved with a message:
“Thank You Buss Family! #speechless”
Over the years, the design of basketball rims was forced to change after many failed the “Shaq Test”. He started his personal fad of destroying rims when he was a youngster playing for LSU and ripped a few rims right off the glass. In one incident at LSU, he came crashing to the ground flat on his back.
Here’s a video of some of those dunks:
Shaq’s statue will join a row of others outside Staples Center that represents a variety of sports. That existing list includes Lakers’ stars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and Magic Johnson; Los Angeles Kings’ Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille; boxer Oscar De La Hoya and legend announcer Chick Hearn.
Shaq first heard about the statue while being a guest on the late night Jimmy Kimmel show more than a year ago. With Kimmel known as being a prankster, Shaq didn’t believe he was getting a statue and kept asking Kimmel if it were really true.
Some Lakers’ legends are expected to attend the ceremony on Friday, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant, who may be thinking, “I better be getting one of these.”
Kobe may be waiting a while because the team still hasn’t retired his jersey number and that seems to be the order of business in the past. All the other Lakers’ statues are of players with retired jerseys with Shaq’s of course being the most recent when the team retired his No. 34.
BTW, in addition to the long trail of broken rims, Shaq has also left a trail of retired jerseys. Earlier this season the Miami Heat retired Shaq’s No. 32 and years ago LSU and his high school did as well.