Ding tweeted on Thursday:
Lakers will retire @shaq No. 34 jersey on April 2 vs. Mavericks and Jamaal Wilkes' No. 52 jersey on Dec. 28 vs. Trail Blazers.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) August 30, 2012
It was only a matter of time before the Lakers would retire the number of one of the greatest centers in NBA history.
O'Neal's numbers and accolades are staggering.
The 15-time All-Star won four NBA titles and collected three NBA Finals MVP awards. He racked up 28,596 points (23.7 points per game), as well as 13,099 rebounds (10.9 per game) and 2,732 blocks (2.3 per game). He's sixth all-time in scoring, 13th all-time in rebounding and seventh all-time in blocks.
O'Neal's time with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers will go down in history.
The duo won three straight titles together from 2000 to 2002. O'Neal averaged 30.7 points, 15.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in the 2000 playoffs. He averaged 30.4 points, 15.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in the 2001 playoffs. And he averaged 28.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in the 2002 postseason.
Shaq joins the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain in Lakers big-man lore. He was the catalyst for their championships from 2000 to 2002, and we can still remember the highlights of him and Bryant dominating together in Los Angeles.
O'Neal played 19 seasons in the NBA, including eight with the Lakers. He was this era's greatest center, and he clearly deserves his place up in the rafters at Staples Center.