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Lakers plan Shaquille O'Neal statue at Staples Center

By The Sports Xchange
Lakers plan Shaquille O'Neal statue at Staples Center
Shaquille O'Neal slams the ball during a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center on January 4, 2000. Photo by Sinartus Sosrodjojo/UPI | License Photo

Shaquille O'Neal will be honored with a statue outside of the home arena of the Los Angeles Lakers.

"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."

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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.

Before his relationship with Kobe Bryant deteriorated and the Lakers traded O'Neal to the Miami Heat in 2004, the duo dominated the Western Conference.

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.

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