On Friday, Shaquille O’Neal was forever immortalized outside of the Staples Center with a bronze statue being unveiled in his likeness. Many consider the arena to be the house that Shaq built as not long after it opened, Shaq led the Los Angeles Lakers to three straight championships.
Over the last few years, the Lakers have fallen on hard times, while their Staples Center co-tenants, the Los Angeles Clippers, have had their best run of success in the history of their franchise. Even still they have yet to even reach the Western Conference Finals.
When Doc Rivers came on as the Clippers head coach and president of basketball operations, he made a controversial decision to cover up the Lakers’ championship banners and retired jerseys with Clippers banners. That move still doesn’t sit well with Shaq who voiced his displeasure on Spectrum SportsNet’s Top Ten Shaq moments:
“Speaking of Clippers, I don’t like the fact that when you guys have your home games, you cover up the jerseys. Until you win 16 championships, then you can start changing the rule. Don’t cover up my jersey. This is [Lakers] building. Don’t forget that s***. Y’all just leasing it. That’s our building.”
It’s hard to argue with Shaq’s thought process. The Lakers have brought in five championships to that building and even though the Clippers have been better recently, Los Angeles is still a Lakers town.
The Clippers in fact, remain the only Staples Center tenant who has yet to hang a championship banner as the Los Angeles Kings have won two Stanley Cup Championships while the Los Angeles Sparks have three WNBA Championships.
The question now is when will the Lakers get back to their championship ways. With Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka taking over, fans can only hope it won’t be much longer.