Los Angeles Lakers Botch Shaq's Jersey at Retirement Ceremony

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2013

The Los Angeles Lakers retired Shaquille O'Neal's No. 34 jersey at halftime of the Lakers' 101-81 win over the Dallas Mavericks, and everything went according to plan.

Except that Shaq's jersey was all wrong.

For the most part, it was a fun and enjoyable evening. Phil Jackson talked about Shaq showing up at practice naked, Jeanie Buss gave a formulaic, but heartfelt, speech to the big dude, and Kobe Bryant even gave a thumbs-up to his former teammate.

Outside of the "We want Phil!" chants raining down from the stands, there didn't appear to be any major hiccups throughout the evening. The jersey was unveiled, everyone clapped, and Shaq shouted "Can you dig iiiiittttt!"

Everything had gone according to plan.

The only problem was that the jersey was backward. Shaq's name was spelled out fine, the number was right, but the number and name were plastered across the front of the jersey, not the back.

Shaq's retired Lakers jersey in the rafters at Staples Center is backwards twitter.com/BleacherReport…

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 3, 2013

Next to all the other jerseys up in the rafters, this gaffe was painfully obvious. All the other jerseys hang with the swoop-necked back facing the crowd, while Shaq's has the V-necked front. 

It was never discovered that anything was wrong until the Internet got hold of the picture, and the people in the know were eventually alerted and are already planning to fix it.

Lakers spokesman tells me Shaq's backwards retired jersey will be fixed and re-installed prior to Friday's game vs. Memphis:

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 3, 2013

With how goofy Shaq was back in his NBA playing days, it would almost make more sense to leave it as-is. In reality, though, it's the right move for the Lakers organization to take care of this in a timely fashion. 

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