DALLAS – Shaquille O’Neal has sported many nicknames throughout his colorful career, most of them products of his own, entertaining imagination.
We wonder what the “Big Statue” sounds like to him? (Click here to see the what the proposed statue would look like.)
The four-time NBA champion and self-proclaimed “Most Dominant Ever” will get his own bronze statue outside of LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center’s new practice facility on the campus in Baton Rouge, per a report in The Advocate.
From the sound of it, this could be one of the best statues of a former player to be erected anywhere. A 900-pound statue of Shaq smashing like he did during his LSU days … classic:
The tentative plan is to unveil the statue during the NBA off-season, said LSU associate vice chancellor for communications Herb Vincent.
… At age 39, O’Neal is currently the oldest player in the NBA and is likely near retirement, having struggled with injuries much of the season. He ranks fifth all-time in points scored in the NBA and fourth in postseason points scored.Vincent said the four-time NBA champion was a natural selection to be LSU’s first statue of an athlete because he is an “iconic figure” worldwide. O’Neal also is the only LSU student athlete in any major sport to win a national player of the year award in college and an MVP award in the pros.
“We’re honoring him for his accomplishments … and it’s a good recruiting tool,” Vincent said.
The $70,000 project is privately funded, he said.
“It’s already been done,” Vincent said. “It’s in storage.”
Not even Pistol Pete got a statue at LSU, so that should tell you what sort of esteem O’Neal is held in by the LSU faithful, as passionate a group fans as there is anywhere.
Since no one in Los Angeles is talking about adding a Shaq statue outside of the Staples Center, he might as well get bronzed where he can.
And you remember collegiate Shaq, don’t you? He was an absolute monster: