Blog Entry

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

Posted on: June 1, 2011 8:55 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 9:12 pm
The Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly retire center Shaquille O'Neal's jersey. Posted by Ben Golliver. shaquille-oneal

Throughout Wednesday, tributes to Shaquille O'Neal have poured in from the likes of NBA commissioner David Stern after the center announced his retirement on Twitter.

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor O'Neal in the most visible way possible: by retiring his No. 34 jersey. reports that a Lakers spokesperson has committed to retiring O'Neal's jersey but does not yet have a timeline in mind.
"We don't have any specific timetable on this, but you can be assured we will retire Shaq's jersey," said Lakers spokesman John Black in an email on Wednesday.

"We don't have a specific policy on it," Black wrote. "As you know, players have to wait five years to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but we could possibly do a jersey retirement ceremony for Shaq prior to that."
O'Neal paired with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant to win three titles for the franchise. His time with the Lakers is generally regarded as the high point of his career, making the jersey retirement decision a no-brainer.

Earlier Wednesday, Lakers owner Jerry Buss recognized O'Neal for that accomplishment in a press release.

"Shaq had a long and amazing career," Buss said. "A huge impact both on and off the court.  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."

It will be interesting to see which -- if any -- of the other teams that O'Neal played for will follow suit. Orlando, where he began his career, would seem to be a no-brainer. Despite the heartbreak of leaving the city for the Lakers, he was the face of the franchise and guided the Magic to the NBA Finals. Miami is another possibility. O'Neal teamed with guard Dwyane Wade to help the Heat win the 2006 title. His other stops -- Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston -- will probably pass.

The Lakers have only retired the jerseys of seven players to date. All seven have been selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The full list: 
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- No. 33
  • Elgin Baylor -- No. 22
  • Wilt Chamberlain -- No. 13 
  • Gail Goodrich -- No. 25
  • Magic Johnson -- No. 32
  • Jerry West -- No. 44
  • James Worthy -- No. 42

Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: June 3, 2011 10:06 pm

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

When I think  of big men who played for the Lakers I can only think of the best MAN  ever to wear number 34:  Petur Karl Gudmundsson.  Without him and Frank Brickowski, the Celtics would have wound up with Mychal Thompson instead of the Lakers in 1987.  I can remember how steamed Red Auerbach was when the Lakers consummated the deal.  So Petur, for all the naysayers and haters of the Lakers organization, this shows you we take care of our people, our family.  Therefore, we will always remember you.  At least those of us who remember you will remember you.  Most of our current fans became true Laker fans when Phil Jackson was named head coach.  Our fans never knew that Del Harris and Kurt Rambis were fired before PJ was hired and that PJ was actually coach of the Chicago Bulls before he came to Los Angeles.

Since: May 20, 2010
Posted on: June 3, 2011 9:16 pm

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

To all the naysayers and haters of the Lakers organization, this shows you we take care of our people, our family.  We know what shaq meant to not only the Lakers but the city of Los Angeles and the NBA.  Yes after Big Fella left there were some bitter times and feelings on both ends with Management and Kobe Bryant but that now is all in the past.  Will Kobe Bryant be there and speak of the Big man?, I can say almost 100% he will, cause now its not about competition, it's about honoring and remembering a great time in L.A. history.  I am so glad Dr. Buss had decided to do this and I don't care if anyone else retires his jersey because he is a Laker for life now.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: June 3, 2011 10:00 am

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

Congrats to Shaq. Certainly a well-deserved honor.

Since: Feb 1, 2010
Posted on: June 3, 2011 7:10 am

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

Wonder if Kobe will attend

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2011 3:12 am

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

Excellent decision by Dr. Jerry Buss, he could've declined but instead chose to do what most feel is the right thing by retiring his jersey.  Hopefully Shaq will also choose to enter the HOF as a Laker. 

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:53 am

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

this is a no brainer....not only are you talking about a top 5 center of all time but without him the Lakers do not win one championship over the last 10 years...

yes, i know Kobe won without him but Kobe is not on the Lakers if Shaq does not move from Orlando to LA.  Shaw being there allowed them to trade Vlade Divac...yes spare arse Vlade Divac to the Hornets for recent first round pick Kobe Bryant.

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: June 2, 2011 9:04 pm

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

Not that the Lakers care, but my respect for the organization just went back up a few notches.  I really thought they were not appreciative of Shaq when they decided to trade him in favor of Kobe.  I guess this shows it was just a business decision.  Good to see they realize what they had and how special it was.  The argument that Kobe was really the man is asinine.  How quickly time blurs the lines between reality and fantasy.  Kobes development into a world class one man wrecking crew came in large part because of the amount of attention the other team had to pay to Shaqs presence.  Teams would routinely allow Kobe to get his because they new that Shaq would end up shooting in the high 90's in percentage if they didnt double and triple team him. The logic was that they would take a fade away jumper from 30 ft anyday over a dunk.

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: June 2, 2011 8:58 pm

What about HIS statue?

No comment. Just wondering if he'll be pissed when Kareem gets his and he has to wait.

Since: May 9, 2010
Posted on: June 2, 2011 4:58 pm

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

Only the Lakers should retire his jersey. For any other team to do so would be ridiculous, as it would only cheapen the honor. True, those dead souls conformed to this dead age can hardly resist cheapening all honors, but hopefully there's some resistance in this case.

O age, thou art shamed.*
O shame, where is thy blush?**

-Shakespeare, Julius Caesar,* Hamlet**

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: June 2, 2011 3:20 pm

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

I'm glad to see the Lakers' organization retire "The Big Fella" jersey. He also should also have his jersey retired by the Magic organization as well. I know that he didn't win a championship there,but he put Orlando on the map as well as Penny Hardaway. They probably wont because of Shaq bailing out on them for LA. As for a possible statue being in front of the Staples.....he's going to have to wait until his turn for that. It would be a shame if he gets one before Kareem.Cool

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