The Los Angeles Lakers are in unfamiliar territory as the NBA season draws to a close – they’re fighting for a playoff spot.
In the midst of their race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, the Lakers plan to retire former center Shaquille O’Neal before Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. O’Neal, who retired in 2011 after his sole season with the Boston Celtics, averaged 27 points, nearly 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game as a Laker during the regular season.
O’Neal was dominant during the Lakers championship ‘threepeat’ from 1999-2002, earning three consecutive NBA Finals MVPs. His coach during that championship run, Phil Jackson, will speak at the jersey retirement ceremony. Kobe Bryant will offer a video tribute which has been pre-recorded according to Kevin Ding of the Orange-County Register.
The ceremony will take place during halftime.
Shaq has been keeping busy since announcing he was hanging up his #34 for good, especially on social media. O’Neal boasts nearly 7 million followers on Twitter.
He’s currently an NBA analyst and host for Turner Sports’ Inside the NBA show.