Lakers To Retire Shaq’s No. 34 Jersey

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar finally gets his statue and now Shaquille O’Neal and Jamaal Wilkes will get their jerseys, No. 34 and No. 52 respectively, retired to the rafters at Staples Center.

It’s been a pretty good week for former big men toiled for the Los Angeles Lakers at some point during their NBA careers. And it’s going to be a busy season for the Lakers, who are legitimately back in the title hunt (with the additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to their Kobe Bryant-Pau Gasol nucleus) after a two-year hiatus.

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register served up not only a little perspective, but also some concrete dates as to when all these honors will be unveiled:

There haven’t been many sweet moments between Shaquille O’Neal and the Lakers since his trade in 2004, but the big one will come April 2 at halftime of the game against Dallas.

O’Neal’s No. 34 jersey will be retired, as Lakers owner Jerry Buss promised it would be, and go up on the Staples Center wall along with the Lakers’ other greats. In eight Lakers seasons, O’Neal posted averages of 27.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.49 blocked shots while winning three NBA championships (2000, 2001 and 2002).

On the wall already by then will be Jamaal Wilkes’ No. 52, scheduled to be retired by the Lakers in an earlier ceremony in the coming season. Wilkes’ honor will be at halftime on Dec. 28 against Portland.

The first reflective moment of the season will be the unveiling of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s statue at Star Plaza outside Staples Center on Nov. 16.

Plans for the statue of Abdul-Jabbar and the jersey retirements for O’Neal and Wilkes were already confirmed last season by the Lakers. Wilkes was selected last season for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Lakers’ policy has been to retire the jerseys of all who are enshrined.

With O’Neal and Abdul-Jabbar taken care of, we started thinking about others in the Lakers’ family tree and how they might be honored. Does Derek Fisher get a small plaque somewhere, a luxury suite named in his honor, anything?

And what about Phil Jackson?

We should probably leave it alone right now and just applaud the Lakers for doing all that they have done for the likes of Magic Johnson and Jerry West and now Kareem, Shaq and Wilkes.

75 Comments

  1. robert b zenon says:

    Sure I retire Shaq’s jersey and Phils. I wish people would stop saying Shaq was the reason the Lakers won those Championships. There were plenty of contributors to those Laker Championships. A true Laker fans knows how those Championships were won. Robert Horry, Kobe Bryant, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, we had quite a few nail biters in those runs, No matter how dominant Shaq was were would we be without Horry’s big shot against Sacramento or Kobe’s amazing game 3 in Indiana when Shaq fouled out and they went into overtime and Kobe took over. Or that first Championship run when people thought it would take a couple of years to gel and they beat Portland in that first year. Horry and Kobe contiinued to hit big shots down the stretch of those games. No people need to know that the Big fella had plenty of help and would not have 3 himself without those guys coming up big in the clutch.

  2. Leonard says:

    Shaq earned it. Michael Cooper was a major part of 5 championships. He was Larry Birds nemesis. I do not understand why he does not get the recognition. Other than Magic he is one of my all time favorite Lakers because he did everything on the court. No one blocked a breakaway layup better than Coop which today has been rekindled by LeBron James. When Magic was out with an injury Cooper would almost get triple doubles filling in. Retire Coops number he earned it, 21.

  3. Sparrific says:

    The honor is great but look at it this way, remember how bad the split was between the organization and Shaq? Now they have again arguably one of the most dominant centers in the league again. They tired teaching Bynum finesse of Kareem didn’t work. If I want my current big man to be dominant I will get the best big man of this time to teach him. But FIRST I have to find a way to get him to consider doing it. What better way to persuade him than by honoring him and swaying his allegiance. Shaq deserves it! He is and has been the most DOMINANT force in basketball since he left HIGH SCHOOL. Because of his dominance the NBA changed the way the game is played imagine what he could have done if those rule changes were not in place.

  4. broomstick says:

    Funny Thing With you Guyz No Player can Win Without the other ITS A TEAM GAME give credit to whom the CREDIT is Due

  5. Bob M says:

    Stop this Kobe and Shaq thing. Shaq was dominant; it didn’t matter what you did to him or how many you brought at him. He delivered. Sure, Hakeem made him look slow and fooled him, but that was his game. But, Shaq always was the Diesel and, for sure, Kobe would be short 3 rings without him. That is no disrespect to Kobe. Save, Hakeem, the other star centers in the league were not able to handle him. His stats were 27/12/2.5!! Give Shaq his day and don’t pollute it with this rivalry garbage.

  6. AK says:

    After everything Shaq gave the city of LA they owe it to him to have his Jersey retired. Without Shaq they would have had 3 less rings. During the three-peat Shaq owned the league. He was the most dominant force at the time. Anyone who has any doubt go back and watch those finals series. That’s why he was honoured with Finals MVP awards. Well deserved Shaq, one of the best centres of ALL TIME. A true legend.

  7. Ao1 says:

    Simple… Shaq didn’t win it alone. He needed Kobe as much as Kobe needed Him. Remember center don’t bring the ball from one side of the floor to the other. If no one would give him the ball inside Shaq would never scored that much. Besides, quit making it like it’s just Shaq while the driving ability of Kobe force the D to scramble. Anyway, Shaq didn’t win in Orlando, now why won’t you people who thinks it’s only Shaq explain this. Stop making excuses about Jordan’s era because Jordan didn’t play on the ’93-’94 season and came back later on the ’95 season. Why Shaq didn’t win during those times? Explain all of you who thinks it’s only Shaq that won the ring

  8. Jay says:

    So the Lakers decided that they didn’t want him but now they want to retire his jersey? eh well…

    • Belizeboy says:

      It was Shaq or Kobe at the time and the Lakers kept the younger player. It wasn’t like they wanted to get rid of him. Shaq would have been a Laker till he retired if they both got alone. Something to keep in mind for the whole Howard era coming up.

  9. LakersWillWin says:

    While I am happy his jersey is being retired because of what iihe did with the franchise… Kobe and Shaq DEFINITELY being the greatest 1-2 punch combo to EVER live, and in my opinion EVER exist in the NBA… He was a traitor and played for our arch nemesis, the Boston Celtics. How can we retire a Celtic in a LAKER arena?

    • bballjunkie1 says:

      Easy because it was when he was a Laker, he helped bring winning again to LA, something not enjoyed since “show-time.” Respect is something that is given to the contrary. Without him/Phil Jackson there would not have been a 3peat. As a matter of fact as of today the Lakers still have not managed that accomplishment again. Tomorrow is tomorrow. For the record Chicago Bulls did it 2x, but the record standard is 8 peat you guessed it Boston Celtics.

    • Belizeboy says:

      He wasn’t a traitor, he got traded because of the drama between him and Kobe. Also it wasn’t a problem for the Lakers to use Rick Fox to help with those championships so I don’t see why you’re making a big deal about Shaq.

    • Caliking says:

      I agreed when he was playing but i forgave him for it. he played for boston what like 5 minutes before he retired. he’s a laker always will be. his best part of his career was with the lakers so yeah he does deserve it

  10. Clinton says:

    THIS WAS OBVIOUS, EVERYONE WAS SAYING IT SHOULD BE KOBE AND I AGREE BUT IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, SHAQ AS ALREADY RETIRED FROM THE NBA, KOBE IS STILL PLAYING, ONCE KOBE HAS RETIRED HE WILL GET HIS TOO

  11. Judge says:

    Shaq was a dominant player in his prime but he cannot make plays for himself, he need someone to feed him, to make plays for him and once he received the ball in the paint, man, he’s unstoppable. You cannot disregard what Kobe did in spreading the defense against Shaq. Remenber when he was in Orlando, Shaq has a good supporting casts but no championship and when he paired with Kobe, they got 3. The Shaq – Kobe combo is the best in NBA history. They’re unstoppable!!!

    • Vladimir says:

      The Orlando part is pure b/s, he didn’t win there because he was not in his prime and when he was nearing it, Penny started his injury streak… Orlando did manage to get to the finals once tho. And remember one thing, back in Orlando days he had one big hurdle to jump over to get to the finals, MJ and Bulls. One year they defeated MJ and the Bulls was when Jordan came back from retirement…
      Shaq is arguably the most dominant center… I’d say it was Olajuwon because of his overall achievements and of his game/moves, Shaq was physic phenom, just like LeBron is today when compared to the rest of the players that play the same position, but he was lacking outside shot and free throws were an issue… While Olajuwon was better than him down on the block, both Olajuwon and Robinson were better shooters than Shaq, by far…

  12. pasigiri says:

    Shaq was an unstoppable force in the paint. IN THE PAINT. He had issues beyond that and that’s why the Dream taught him a thing or two. Also, Shaq needed someone to feed him as with most big men. Someone to pull away some of the defense. Those people were Penny, Wade, Lebron, and of course, Kobe. The combination of Shaq and any one of these guys was a MAJOR problem for defenses. You absolutely HAD to double and help out on Shaq, but that freed up Penny/Wade/Lebron/Kobe, people you DO NOT, I repeat, D-O N-O-T want to leave alone with a defender. So what’s a defense to do, hack-a-Shaq, try to cover a flash, de-throne a king, or use snake charms??? The latter has proven to jump up and bite many a defenses. This is why Shaq himself that Kobe and himself made up the greatest duo in basketball history. Shaq was awesome, the most dominate player ever at his position, but as Jordan proved with a nasty block, you always need help.

    • GaLaD says:

      Jordan and Pippen – that was the best duo in history. If Michael wouldn’t be playnig baseball for few yesrs then Bulls would win at least 6 straight titles in 90s.

  13. Troy says:

    Got that right with the idiot thing, I doubt Miami can even beat Thunders again, Check the history every time LA Lakers sign big players something happens soon after. They sign Kobe & Shaq, RINGS; they signed Gasol RINGS, now they have signed Nash & Howard equation remains the same = RINGS

    • Belizeboy says:

      With the examples you give, the Lakers took at least one year to win the championship. So I just don’t see them winning with Nash at 40 and Kobe at 35, but anything is possible.

  14. Damien says:

    To those calling Shaq “the most dominant center in NBa history”, I’ll just give you two words : Wilt Chamberlain…

    • kenny says:

      Ok then consider the kind of competition there was there and consider the competition shaq played against. Shaq is the most dominant!!!

    • bballjunkie1 says:

      I agree, too bad television and the NBA brand was not where it was before Magic/Bird moving forward so that alot of people would be more educated about the players and the history of this game. Most posts you read are people talking from the Jorden era foward. MJ benefited from the merger of ABA/NBA brand, television, technology, the Magic/Bird era. I mean they started selling tennis shoes, drinks gatorade with players making more money in endorsements than salary. Too bad no footage on the 100pt game by Wilt, or reminding people that you couldn’t dunk in the NBA so players like Wilt, Russell, Kareem really had to have offensive skills.

      We now have 24 hr NBA TV, so many still don’t know that MJ as good as he was for Chicago, was one of 4 players with 6 rings Pippen, Bob Cousey, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Bill Russell the standard period of rings with 11, Sam Jones 10, Heinsohn,KC Jones,Satch Sanders, Hondo Havlicek 8 rings, Robert Horry (Big Shot Rob) 7 rings. Horry, Salley only players to win rings with 3 teams. Steve Kerr won consecutive championships with 2 different teams. By the way last I checked there were more Kareem sky hook pts recorded over all the dunks and jumpshots taken so far. Maybe Durant can catch him barring no major injuries?

    • celtic533 says:

      three words Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.another two words Bill Russel.Another two words Hakeem Olajuwon.there were many great centers.i say we stop arguing about who was the greatest and just pay attention to their greatness.it depends on who they were dominating if we are going to make that discussion.

  15. matthew reynolds says:

    I think it is a good thing that the lakers will try to retire shaq’s jersey because he did help win 3 championships with the lakers

  16. JPA says:

    howard lakers will retire in your crazy!

  17. me says:

    Fisher deserves one of those. Come on now after magic what other PG was relevant in the Lakers franchise? very few

    • thecobra says:

      jerry west, now steve nash

    • scott the magician says:

      man………….fisher isnt even good…..wasnt ever good either i should add

      • Michel says:

        he isnt good in the traditionell sense, but he was-is a family member of the lakers and was huge for our titles. hanging up a jersey shouldnt just be about the best players, but for those who changed or influenced the franchise. and fish certainly did that. he deserves his jersey hanging in staples.

  18. Dejan says:

    What Kobe Bryant number will be retired? 8 or 24?

    • matthew reynolds says:

      both hopefully

    • Gabriel says:

      If i were the Lakers owner, to give a great honor to the best Laker ever i would retire both.. Kobe is one of the best ever.. he deserves that, even beacuse he got 3 titles with number 8 and 2 plus.. with number 24

  19. J says:

    Shaq deserves this! He gave fans in Lakerland some great years!

  20. tyrone says:

    sorry about the Shaq Fu thing I meant Shaq will be remember by his nickname:Shaq Fu and how he fulfilled his promise to MIA

  21. tyrone says:

    Oh and Shaq won it by using Shaq Fu but he was still racist about Yao Ming being Chinese.

  22. tyrone says:

    Phil might be retired with the number of coaching wins he had with LA I guess like Red Holzman who was retired as 613 by NY. KB will definiately be retired with 24, Gasol and maybe Howard if they manage to form a dynasty.

  23. Willy says:

    I think it is completely disrespectful that they don’t give Shaquille a statue next to Lew’s

  24. oze says:

    shaq wont win a ring without kobe as well as jordan without pippen magic without jabar, james without wade olajuwon and drexler.it means you need another allstar to win a championship..its a team game not an individual game

    • Chingon says:

      shaq won a ring without kobe…..

      • zgillet says:

        Dwyane Wade helped.

      • s27m says:

        MIAMI bro remeber

      • jon says:

        He Had Wade!!

      • LALKB24 says:

        Need a reminder? Shaq had D-WADE on his team. And let not forget how good D-WADE was that year.

      • Turk (not Hedo, but of the same nationality) says:

        he had wade

      • HA!! says:

        Obviously you’ve never heard of a guy named Dwyne Wade. You make me laugh so hard!! Where have you been living?? Which, by the way, Wade carried the Heat to win that championship!!

        Don’t get me wrong though, I also believe it takes at least 2 superstars to win, as history told us over and over again. I wish people will stop talking about this who carried who / who will never win without who / who is nothing if not for who nonsense, and just enjoy basketball, for the love of basketball.

  25. Shaq50/50 says:

    @s27m

    Are you kidding me? Kobe thank Shaq? haha give me a break kobe carried just as much as the load as shaq did. Shaq would get dominated and taken out the game against the spurs Tim Duncan and David Robinson. It was Kobe who carried Shaq then.

    Shaq got into fouled out a couple times to the Kings who were dominant at the time and even the Pacers. Kobe took over plenty of times. Shaq is Great but he’s failed to win before Kobe when he had Penny Hardaway remember??

    Good for Shaq tho, he will be remembered as he should to Laker Nation

    • s27m says:

      To bad Kobe didnt get MVP in the finals than eh? lol there is a reason he(Shaq) did… NUMBERS DONT LIE dont let your emotions to precious Kobe get in the way of that bro.

      Shaq was the franchise than and now its Kobe, no disrespect Kobe is one of the greats but the first three were mainly due to Shaq..
      All those double teams he created Gave Kobe a chance to preform and show his incredible talents.

    • bballjunkie1 says:

      Kobe did not win either before Shaq. Let’s get real here, they both became winners under learning the game of basket ball from Phil Jackson. Teaching them the same way he had to teach MJ, its a team game. Too bad Kobe/Shaq couldn’t get past their egos and do something MJ couldnt do team wise and that was to win 4,5,6 in a row.

      There has never been an NBA player to win a ring by himself, guard, center, or foward period. Shaq is deserving for helping put Lakers back in the winners circle. In his era where the dunk was allowed his freak of nature, (moving his feet) for a big man was something to see.

      We can argue about centers in their prime love Shaq but Wilt averaging 50pts 20+ rebounds, 100pts in a game when dunking was not allowed in the NBA, Russells Celtics (11 rings), a defensive stopper, and last but not least Kareem scored more points than any other NBA player with that unstoppable sky hook, not mention (6 rings). They were great in their time. Let’s not forget Hakeem’s back to back rings.

      Everybody has their place in the history books but if rings are the standard Bill Russell is the standard period. Kobe will have his place. I am a basket fan I am still waiting for one of these youngsters to at least catch Robert Horry 7 rings. Maybe Kobe, Maybe Durant, Maybe Lebron maybe ?

      • ab-ball says:

        tim duncan 2003-2004 all by himself

      • peterk05 says:

        Not to mention that the Spurs didn’t win in 03-04. They won in 02-03 and 04-05. In which case you can put David Robinson, Stephen Jackson, Tony Parker, Bruce Bowen, Steve Kerr, Steve Smith, Manu Ginobili in the help column for 02-03.
        And then Parker, Manu, Bowen, Brent Barry, Nazr Mohammed, Glenn Robinson & Horry, Nesterovic and Devin Brown down for 04-05.

    • LakersWillWin says:

      It’s true, if you watch Kobe in the Kings series.. He dropped 20 points in the 3rd quarter I Believe of game 1 of the WCF in 01. That was just ONE game of many, its just one that sticks out to me .Him coming back from injury and being rusty and dropping points like that.

      • Michel says:

        bballjunkie1. kobe couldnt have won before shaq since he came when shaq did genius. and thank shaq? it needed a dominant kobe to win. shaq was in his prime, kobe needed to grow and when he was ready, phil used him like mike. why do you think he came back to coach the lakers after the breakup and what it seemed the hate towards kobe? he simply knew that he is gonna win it with kobe.no shaq needed.

  26. isiah says:

    alonzo mourning made a career out of being a shaq stopper

    • s27m says:

      lol how many rings does he got?

    • Junizastud says:

      And how many rings does Zo have? Wait he has one on a team SHAQ was on.

      He was never a Shaq stopper. If anyone should be noted it was Hakeem because he did stop Shaq and the Magic on their first trip to the Finals.

      • scott the magician says:

        No one ever stopped shaq!! period
        in his prime he was 110% unstoppable. i can still see him dragging 3 men to the rim and dunking, smashing back boards and throwing poor nick the quick van excel like a toy in celebration…lol
        you da man shaq!!

  27. s27m says:

    Shaq Deserves it, Hands down the the most DOMINANT center in history.
    I remember it like yesterday when the threepeat happend and during that time how Shaq simply owned the world of basketball!
    No one and I repeat No one could stop him in those years. Kobe should go thank him again for his first 3 Rings when they retire Shaq’s Jersey. Shaq was 70% of the reason they won those titles. Not trying to knock Kobe but its the TRUTH!

    LONG LIVE THE DIESEL!!!!!

    • hands down? says:

      What about Wilt. If I’m not mistaken he scored 100 points in a single game and averaged 50 for more than one season. Sounds pretty dominant to me. Not to mention, when you have to be taken out of games late because you can’t hit a free throw, what are you dominating then, the cheerleading section? I’d say he was the strongest center ever and maybe one of the most charasmatic.

      • kenny says:

        Wilt dominated in an era when he was the only tall players. Noone could match him. If he didn’t dominate the way he did it would have been a disappointment. Shaq is the most dominant since he dominated in an era where there were plenty of Hall of Fame centers around.

      • dan says:

        Just to get the record straight, Wilt didn’t score 100 points in a game during his tenure with the Lakers. He did that earlier in his career as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors.

    • GottaLoveShaq says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. It seems like people forget sht like this. Kobe would have been nothing without Shaq. I still think 2001 playoffs after Shaq got his groove with the first ring was the most impressive run there has EVER been and possible ever will be. I mean, c’mon, 15-1 through the title with the only loss being in OT in the Finals. Absolutely stunning. Shaq should easily be top 5 All-time no doubt.

      • kILLarifIC says:

        Sorry guys but neither wilt or shaq are the best center of all time.. ask shaq whos the best center of all time and he”ll say Hakeem Olojuwon like he’s said many times. Hakeem is easily the best center ever, he killed Ewing, David Robinson, and Shaquille O’neal on his was to back to back titles.. Had Shaq been drafted in the same era(Micheal Jordan era) as those guys he prolly would have NEVER won a championship.. All Hakeem had was Clyde the Glide at the end of his career and won those 2 rings. And Hakeem didnt start playing basketball till he was 14 yrs old

      • GaLaD says:

        Come on kILLariflC – Houston and Hakeem won those titles only because MJ was playing baseball back then. When he came back it was all over again and Bulls were wining everything. Also, of course Shaq will tell that Hakeem or someone else is better, because he is Shaq – he always was like that. I think, that if Shaq would have someone like Clyde in the team and play against Hakkem and the Rockets, then Diesel would win those two more rings.

      • Basketball Jones says:

        Kareem is the best center if not player of all time in my opinion. 6 mvps and 6 titles, no disrepect to bill russell who had 5 mvps and had what was it 11 titles if I’m not mistaken? But I think Kareem one-ups him because he could be a defensive monster much like bill was but he could also put up huge numbers on the offensive side of the game. But I digress, Shaq was great but his defense and sometimes rebounding was lacking, therefore I’d put him as the fifth greatest center all time behind Kareem, Bill Russell, Wilt, and Hakeem.

    • Caliking says:

      shaq and kobe scored 70 plus percent of the lakers points during the playoffs and slightly less in the regular season. I would say 55 percent shaq 35percent kobe and 10 percent to the rest of the team. anyone who thinks fishers jersey shouldnt be retired is out their mind, go back and watch those playoffs game. same for robert horry.

      • Belizeboy says:

        Fisher is just like Byron Scott. Both played and equally great role in the championship eras but neither one deserves to have a number retired.

  28. Yeah they should do that to a guy who brought them 3 championships and was a dominant force in the NBA…if only he didn’t retire so early…he would still have a chance to be a reserve for the Howard-Gasol tandem…anyway congrats Shaq! you we’re one of my first favorite NBA players

  29. Jones17 says:

    Fisher? Name 1 of the season ticket seats after him, or a plaque in the toilets. He was carried to 5 titles.

    Phil is a difficult 1 as he had 1 more title with Bulls. A league wide honour would be better for him

    • scott the magician says:

      ahahahahahahahah
      name a toilet seat after him….lol

    • Caliking says:

      Has anyone read the poll question today? which laker jersey should the lakers retire number 8 or 24. what type of question is that. the clear answer is both.