"We look forward to having Shaq join the other legends who have been honored with statues at STAPLES Center," Jeanie Buss, Lakers president and co-owner, said in a statement. "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."
O'Neal was taken aback when he learned of the news not from the team but during an interview on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Wednesday night.
O'Neal joined the Lakers in 1996 after starting his career with the Orlando Magic. The Lakers won the NBA championship in 2000, 2001 and 2002. O'Neal was the 1999-2000 NBA MVP and all three title runs ended with O'Neal taking Finals MVP honors.