As perhaps one of the greatest players ever to play the game of basketball, Shaquille O’Neal has left a great legacy behind while leaving lasting impressions with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. With four NBA title to his credit and numerous accolades throughout his NBA career, O’Neal will be honored by the Lakers at some point in the upcoming NBA season with his No. 34 jersey retired.
Along with Shaq witnessing his Lakers jersey raised into the rafters of Staples Center with the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, George Mikan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the three-time NBA Finals MVP will also see another dominant center that also likes to use the nickname of “Superman” that he made famous during his time in Los Angeles while wearing the purple and gold.
It’s no secret that there’s no love lost between the recently acquired Dwight Howard and Shaq over the nickname, but the plot will begin to thicken even more next season with Howard dawning the cape for the first time as a member of the storied NBA franchise.
As if Howard basically slipping into Shaq’s shoes in Los Angeles less than a decade after he left town wasn’t enough to stir the pot, life-sized oil painting of Shaq in a Superman costume have surfaced on Craigslist for the price of $3,995 according to Tim McGarry of USA Today:
Now, thanks to Craigslist, you can own a painting of the Big Diesel by a “famous Polish artist (famous in Eastern Europe and Russia).”
At this point in time, Shaq is and will forever be Superman in Los Angeles after helping the Lakers win three NBA titles. There’s no question that Shaq has earned the right to call himself whatever he pleases with what he’s accomplished, but Howard threatens the legacy of the nickname in the City of Angels and it seems that until he can win more titles than Shaq in Los Angeles that he’s got a lot to prove.
It’ll be interesting to see whether or not there’ll be any tension between the future Hall of Famer and the up-and-comer during the 2012-13 NBA season. Shaq will continue to be an NBA analyst for TNT while Howard turns over a new leaf in Los Angeles.
In case you missed it – our interview with the new Time Warner Cable Sports staff!