Shaq Is Getting An Awesome Statue At The Staples Center
With Kobe Bryant going on his farewell tour during this disastrous season, it's fitting the Lakers are looking back on their past. On Wednesday night the team revealed that Laker great Shaquille O'Neal would be honored at the Staples Center with his own statue.
Shaq had the news broken to him on last night's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! While most late night talk show interviews are so obviously rehearsed, he seemed genuinely speechless at the news. "Seriously," says Big Aristotle. "That's awesome."
O'Neal also said that if he was inducted to basketball's Hall of Fame next month (a foregone conclusion), he would probably enter as a Laker—his answer was met with rapturous applause from the Kimmel audience. With the Lakers, O'Neal won three NBA Championships and an MVP award. For his career, he's top-ten all-time in scoring and blocks, and won a fourth NBA Championship with the Miami Heat.
"We look forward to having Shaq join the other legends who have been honored with statues at Staples Center," said Lakers co-owner and President Jeanie Buss in a statement. "He is a giant not only in size, but also in stature and in what he accomplished as a Laker." Shaq will join fellow Lakers legends Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and broadcaster Chick Hearn in being immortalized in bronze outside the arena.
His statue will appropriately show him throwing down one of his thunderous dunks, which were so mighty that he twice broke the backboard supports during his rookie season. It's also worth noting that it looks a lot like the time he got Chris Dudley really mad at him: