Lakers To Retire Shaq's 34, Wilkes' 52
Posted by Eric Lemus on Aug 31, 2012 - 4:00:39 PM
LOS ANGELES—Days after the Los Angeles Lakers announced they would erect a statue in honor of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the organization also announced their intentions to retire the numbers 34 and 52 in honor of Shaquille O'Neal and Jamaal Wilkes.
O'Neal joined the Lakers as a free agent in 1996 after beginning his career with the Orlando Magic. From 2000-2002, O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive championships, the first for the organization since 1988.
O'Neal was named MVP of the 1999-2000 NBA season, also leading the league in scoring that year.
O'Neal is largely regarded as the most dominant center to ever play the game. Although he departed Los Angeles in 2004 and then led the Heat the franchise's first championship, he is best remembered for his time with the Lakers. Jamaal Wilkes, who played for the Lakers from 1977-85, will also have his #52 retired by the franchise. Wilkes won four championships with the Lakers and was also named Rookie of the Year in 1977.
Like Abdul-Jabbar, Wilkes also attended UCLA and led the Bruins to two National Championships under John Wooden. Wilkes will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 7.
Abdul-Jabbar's statue will be unveiled November 16 before the Lakers take on the Phoenix Suns. Wilkes will have his #52 retired at halftime of the December 28 contest against the Portland Trailblazers. O'Neal's #34 will be retired at halftime of the Lakers' April 2 game against the Dallas Mavericks.
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