What will former Lakers Shaq and Magic soon have in common?

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Shaquille O'Neal

According to ESPN Los Angeles, Lakers team spokesman John Black confirmed on Thursday that the team will retire Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 34 next season.  The date is still to be determined.

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O’Neal’s number will make the 8th retired in Lakers history.  He will join the rafters of Staples Center alongside former Lakers and Hall of Famers, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Kareem Adul-Jabbar, James Worthy, and Magic Johnson.

Shaq led the Lakers to three straight NBA titles between 2000-02.  He was named Finals MVP for all three series.

O’Neal called it quits after last season bringing his 19 year career to an end.  He retired with an impressive resume of four NBA titles while averaging 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game during his career.  While in L.A., O’Neal thrived averaging 27 points and just under 12 rebounds a game.

Former teammate Kobe Bryant had this to say about the announcement of Shaq’s number retirement.

“It’s deserved,  It’s rightfully deserved.” Kobe said in a postgame interview following the Lakers’ Thursday 88-87 overtime win against the Boston Celtics.

Kobe and Shaq were arguably the greatest one-two punch in NBA history before egos got in the way and forced a split of two NBA super powers.  Both went on to win championships after the split.

O’Neals definitely deserves to have his No. 34 retired and will one day join his fellow Lakers with retired jerseys in the NBA Hall of Fame.

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