Lakers News: Shaquille O’Neal Becomes Fourth Player In NBA History To Have Jersey Retired By 3 Different Franchises
Shaquille O'Neal
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Shaquille O’Neal was a one-of-one player because of his unique blend of size, strength, agility and skill. The former Los Angeles Lakers star was at the peak of his powers in the early 200s when he powered the iconic franchise to three consecutive championships, cementing his status as one of the greatest to ever step foot in the NBA.

Although O’Neal is rarely mentioned in the GOAT conversation, he’s definitely a top-five center and he himself thinks he’s No. 3 all time behind fellow greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell.

Los Angeles retired O’Neal’s No. 34 jersey a few years ago, while the Miami Heat retired his No. 32. O’Neal teamed up with Heat legend Dwyane Wade to capture the franchise’s first NBA championship back in 2006.

Recently, O’Neal became the first player to have their jersey retired by the Orlando Magic as they hoisted his No. 32 jersey in the rafters. With his jersey immortalized by the Magic, O’Neal became just the fourth NBA player to have their jersey retired by three different franchises, via SportsCenter:

O’Neal joins Pete Maravich, Wilt Chamberlain and Russell as the only individuals to be honored by three different organizations, a testament to their impact no matter where they played. Maravich’s jerseys were retired by the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz, Chamberlain by the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Lakers and Russell by the Boston Celtics and the rest of the league.

Orlando was fortunate to be able to draft O’Neal No. 1 overall in 1992 and he was instantly one of the best players in the league. O’Neal was impossible to guard when he sealed deep in the post, but he was also adept at running the floor and finishing at the rim.

Players like Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic have resurrected post play in the NBA, but there will likely never be another play quite like O’Neal, who dominated the competition through sheer force.

Shaquille O’Neal honored to have played alongside Kobe Bryant before Lakers’ statue unveiling

O’Neal had help bringing a “three-peat” to Los Angeles when he teamed up alongside Kobe Bryant. O’Neal was the team’s alpha, but Bryant was the best second option in the league and the two formed the greatest one-two punch ever.

Ahead of Bryant’s statue unveiling, O’Neal acknowledged how much of an honor it was to play with him on the Lakers.

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