NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal was recently honored for his accomplishments as a Los Angeles Laker with huge, 1,500-pound sculpture that hangs from the Staples Center.
The statue was unveiled at a high-profile ceremony that featured such Lakers royalty as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and many of O’Neal’s former teammates and coaches.
Lakers owner Jeanine Buss delivered remarks, and Lakers great and President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson offered kind words about O’Neal in a video message. O’Neal’s six children were also in attendance, with several of them delivering remarks about their father.
O’Neal, who played for Lakers from 1996-2004, was the eighth athlete to receive a statue at the Staples Center’s Star Plaza. Other Lakers greats to have at statue at the Staples Center include Jabbar, Johnson and West.
O’Neal, who won three championships with the Lakers (2000-2002), told the hundreds of fans in attendance that he appreciated them when they were tough on him for missing a free throw or for not giving a top effort.
As a sign off to his acceptance speech, O’Neal launched into his trademark rally cry for fans when he yelled “Can you dig it?! Can you dig it?”
Photos/video from the event are below