The Los Angeles Lakers have announced the date for the official unveiling of Shaquille O’Neal bronze statue outside of the Staples Center. The unveiling will take place early next year before the Lakers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Lakers.com:
A bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal will be unveiled in Star Plaza at STAPLES Center prior to the Lakers game on March 24, 2017.
Shaq, who already has his No. 34 jersey hanging in the rafters at the Staples Center, is now a Hall of Famer and will be one of the few players immortalized in bronze outside of the team’s arena in downtown Los Angeles.
O’Neal will join the likes of other Lakers greats like Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and legendary broadcaster Chick Hearn. These bronze statues aren’t exclusive to the purple and gold, however, with Los Angeles Kings legends Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille greeting guests at the Staples Center along with famous boxer Oscar De La Hoya.
With Shaq getting his statue outside of Staples, it will only be a matter of time before Kobe Bryant is the next in line to have his jersey in the rafters as well as a bronze figure in front of the iconic arena in Los Angeles.