Shaq to be honored with statue outside Staples Center
The Lakers announced plans on Wednesday night to honor former superstar center Shaquille O’Neal with his own statue outside Staples Center.
The announcement came on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and Shaq didn’t believe it.
Lakers executive Jeanie Buss confirmed the move in a statement.
“We look forward to having Shaq join the other legends who have been honored with statues at STAPLES Center,” said Buss. “He is a giant not only in size, but also in stature and in what he accomplished as a Laker. Shaq literally broke the ground for the site, and was hugely responsible for not only getting STAPLES Center built, but for making it one of the most successful and famous arenas in the world. It’s an honor that is well deserved.”
Shaq played for the Lakers from 1996-2004, winning three straight championships for the team from 2000-2002. He was named Finals MVP in each of the series.
Shaq joins fellow former Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Jerry West as having statues outside of Staples Center. Former Lakers announcer Chick Hearn, boxer Oscar De La Hoya, ex-Kings Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille also have statues outside the arena.
Shaq’s statue will be unveiled at some point next season. There are also statues of his likeness in China and at his alma mater, LSU.