Tuesday night in LA, the “Most Dominant Ever” jersey was retired at Staples Center. Shaquille O’Neal, accompanied by his children and his mother watched his #34 raised into the rafters by the Lakers.
The halftime ceremony which featured a video from Kobe Bryant and speeches by Phil Jackson and Lakers EVP Jeanie Buss. The three shared memories and laughs of the “Shaq years” including Phil recalling a time Shaq showed up for practice naked with only sneakers on and an emotional Jeanie who thanked Shaq for his “talent,” “sense of humor,” and “winning.”
Shaq took the mic and kicked it off with one of his signature catch phrase from those 3 Laker titles tun that began in 200o with “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). AWKWARD… Shaq broke that moment with a quick reply, “I want Phil too.”
O’Neal, who retired from the NBA in 2011 after 19 years in the NBA. Oneal was drafted to the Orlando Magic and later joined the Lakers in 1996. He spent eight seasons with the Lakers, winning three championships (2000, 2001, 2002)
video via Jose3030
photos via Lakers & LA Live