Lakers to build Shaquille O'Neal statue outside Staples Center

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The Los Angeles Lakers, through their illustrious history, have had some of the finest names in basketball don their famous purple and gold jersey.

Only four of those players, however, have been bestowed the honor of having a statue erected in their name at the Lakers' Staples Center home; Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Chick Hearn.

Number five

Now, though, that number will rise to five after it was announced a statue of Shaquille O'Neal will take its place outside the L.A. arena.


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The announcement came as a shock to Shaq himself, with Jimmy Kimmel actually breaking the news to the future Hall of Famer on his chat show on Wednesday night.

Lakers president Jeanie Buss followed up the revelation with a statement on behalf of the franchise Shaq called home for eight of his 18 seasons in the NBA:

"We look forward to having Shaq join the other legends who have been honored with statues at STAPLES Center," said the co-owner.

"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."

O'Neal, who revealed on the Jimmy Kimmel show that he will enter the Hall of Famer as a Laker if and when it happens, enjoyed a hugely successful career with the franchise.

As one of the game's most dominant centers, he helped the Lakers win four NBA titles (2001,2002,2003 and 2006) and saw his number 34 jersey retired by the team back in 2013.

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