Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/3/13
Shaq became the ninth player in Los Angeles Lakers history to have his jersey retired. Signed by the team in the summer of 1996, Shaq spent eight seasons with the purple and gold, winning three NBA championships while reaching four finals. Shaq won his fourth championship after being traded to the Miami Heat, but it was with the Lakers that he had his best years. His jersey retirement ceremony, which took place during halftime of Tuesday’s Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles Lakers game, was excellent. A video montage showed many clips of Shaq’s entertaining personality and funny moments. After that, there was an extremely touching and personal recorded video message from Kobe Bryant. Kobe made it clear in his speech that there no longer is any animosity between him and Shaq. Phil Jackson, who coached Shaq for five seasons, spoke next. He regaled the crowd with funny stories about the bubbly big man. Jeanie Buss then took the microphone and honored Shaq on behalf of the team and the fans. She said the two words that best describe Shaq are “Laker” and “champion.” Shaq’s jersey was then unveiled next to eight other former Laker greats — or nine if you include the jersey for announcer Chick Hearn. Shaq proceeded to speak, giving recognition to Kobe for helping him form the best 1-2 punch in history, Jackson for coaching the team to championships, Jerry West for signing him, late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, and many of the team’s prominent fans, including Jack Nicholson. One of the messages Shaq stressed is that his once contentious relationship with Bryant has been mended. “Kobe, we had a million great times and a thousand bad times,” said Shaq. “But as a doctor, I know that a million outweighs a thousand, and the positive always outweighs the negative. “You are my teammate and my brother, and I’m proud to call you both.” Several notable athletes sent their congratulations to Shaq over Twitter: Congrats to the Big Homie @shaq on getting his jersey retired inside Staples tonight. Well deserved #CanYouDigIt — LeBron James (@KingJames) April 3, 2013 Am happy I got to see my childhood idol @shaq get his #34 jersey retired tonight. #CANYOUDIGIT — Kevin Love (@kevinlove) April 3, 2013 Congrats to my man @shaq on getting his number retired with the Lakers! Well deserved and one of the best to ever play the game! — Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) April 3, 2013 Congratulations to @shaq Much Deserved…. Thanks for all of the Great years with the @lakers — Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) April 3, 2013 Shaq also posted a video to YouTube that was extremely similar in content to the speech he delivered at Staples Center: Congratulations to the Big Fella. He stole the show Tuesday, just like he usually does. Below are some more photos from the ceremony: Gr8 nite @staplescenter retiring @lakers legend @shaq jersey thx 4 never breaking a backboard on my watch #SHAQ34 twitter.com/LeeZeidman/sta… — Lee Zeidman (@LeeZeidman) April 3, 2013 .@shaq‘s Number 34 unveiled on the rafters at @staplescenter #Lakers #Shaq34 twitter.com/LALIVE/status/… — L.A. LIVE (@LALIVE) April 3, 2013 Shaq stands with fellow Lakers legends Jerry West, James Worthy, Elgin Baylor, Phil Jackson & Jamaal Wilkes. #SHAQ34 twitter.com/Lakers/status/… — Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 3, 2013 Photo credit: Twitter/Beto Duran; video via @Jose3030 Related posts: Warriors owner Joe Lacob booed at Chris Mullin jersey retirement ceremony (Video) Shaq’s Retirement Video Part of a Business Deal with Tout.com Frank Thomas Gets Emotional at White Sox Jersey Retirement Ceremony

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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