Does NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq) have a statue outside the Staples Center?
Shaquille O’Neal is widely regarded as one of the best basketball players to ever play the game. The NBA Hall of Famer had an extraordinary career in the NBA, winning four Championships – but the best spell of his career came with the Los Angeles Lakers.
As it turns out, yes, the Lakers legend does have a statue outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California as a testimony of his legacy at the franchise. The statue was unveiled in March 2017 and is located outside the Star Plaza entrance to the arena, alongside other Lakers legends such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jerry West.
The statue depicts Shaq in his signature pose, throwing down a powerful slam dunk while wearing his iconic number 34 Lakers jersey. The statue stands nine feet tall and weighs 1,200 pounds, making it one of the largest statues of any athlete in the world. The statue was commissioned by the Lakers organization to honor Shaq’s contributions to the team during his time with the organization from 1996 to 2004.
During his time with the Lakers, Shaq helped lead the team to three NBA championships and was named the NBA Finals MVP each time. He was also named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2000 and was named to the All-NBA First Team seven times.
Who was the statue created by?
The statue was created by artist Omri Amrany, who is known for his lifelike depictions of athletes.
Amrany worked closely with Shaq to ensure that the statue captured his likeness and conveyed his unique personality and style. The statue was also designed to be interactive, allowing fans to pose with Shaq and even dunk a basketball on the same hoop that he is depicted dunking on in the statue.
The unveiling of the statue was a highly anticipated event, with thousands of Lakers fans and media members in attendance. Shaq himself was also in attendance and gave a speech thanking the Lakers and his fans for their support throughout his career.