At halftime during Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers retired Shaquille O’Neal’s #34 jersey.
The ceremony began with a montage of Shaq’s career with the Lakers that featured a plethora of monster jams and was highlighted with the Kobe-to-Shaq alley-oop in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals in 2000. That one play in that one fourth quarter of that one series essentially pushed those early 2000s Lakers teams over the conjectural hump, establishing them as the best team of the early decade.
The ceremony continued with a recorded message from Kobe Bryant, who congratulated Shaq for a great career and for having his jersey retired at Staples Center.
Things went on with Phil Jackson, who brought up Mark Madsen dancing on stage after the Lakers 2002 NBA Finals Championship, Shaq’s last with the organization. Jeanie Buss followed Jackson with a few kind words of her own, which included a mention of Shaq’s movie “Kazaam”, which brought a bit of laughter to the crowd.
Shaq closed out the ceremony with a speech of his own, where he thanked his father, Phil Harrison, who taught Shaq his style of play and was always there during Lakers games to watch his step-son play. He would also go on to thank the Lakers organization, Phil Jackson and some of his “famous friends” from Los Angeles.
Shaq’s jersey was raised with the Superman Theme playing in the background.
It was a great jersey retirement ceremony for a great center who had a great career. Check out the video below.
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