“Excellence is not a singular act”. And the Los Angeles Lakers proved that with NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal last night in California as ‘The Big Aristotle’ became ‘The Big Statue’.
Now the bronze of the Diesel joins franchise president Magic Johnson, NBA leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (the Time and Hollywood Reporter columnist comparing Shaq to King Kong and all his defenders like those circling bi-planes as he climbed the Empire State backboard so eloquently on-point) and logo Jerry West as a statue outside STAPLES like Wayne Gretzky and legendary Lakers announcer Chick Hearn. And those Laker greats presence was literally felt as they helped introduce Shaq to his life like statue alongside former teammates like Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, A.C. Green, Ron Harper, Horace Grant, Mark Madsen, Stanislav Medvedenko, Gary Payton and of course Kobe Bryant.
“I’ve learned so much from you”, the Black Mamba told the Big Fella as the recently retired legend welcomed another one to Lakerland infamy.
Soon Kobe’s number 8 or 24 will join Shaquille O’Neal’s 34 in the retired rafters of STAPLES where Worthy names like Wilt and Wilkes reside next to Baylor and Goodrich. But they aren’t outside the arena in concrete like the big fundamental is too.
Now the most dominant Laker ever, who also had legendary stints with Florida’s Orlando Magic and Miami Heat before becoming ‘The Big Shaqtus’ in Phoenix and ‘The Big Shamrock’ as a Celtic (and lets not forget the time this gold player traded the purple of the Lakers for the wine of King James Cavalier land) becomes ‘The Big Shaqtue’ as all fans in attendance received mini-Shaq statue stands for their souvenirs.
Shaq’s statue much like his one outsude his LSU alma maters arena boasts his signature backboard breaking two handed, legs up slam dunk. Placed perfectly to hang above the entrance to the Lakers stadium. The statue that was first announced and revealed during the TNT stars appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show has receieved some internet trolling for looking like wrestling legend ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. Not to mention looking a little like a hash-tag ‘Sad Shaq’ meme to rival Jordan’s after it was first revealed set down on its front. But the bottom line is this statue is as good as M.J.’s outside the Chicago Bulls’ United Center. Why? Because the stone hard look says so.
Inside the Lakers home that the Diesel now guards the Lakers new staples honoured their biggest legend on his Hollywod Night even further by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-119 after one overtime, off a career high 35 from future star Jordan Clarkson.
In this center legends are made, but none quite as big as the man who now dunks on the whole of STAPLES and everyone inside.
Now you can definitly dig that!