Shaquille O’Neal will likely be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame when the announcements are made during the All-Star festivities this month, and there’s a reason we say likely. The former center, who spent the majority of his years in the league with the Magic, Lakers and the Heat, winning 4 championships with the latter two teams, is one of the most dominant players to ever play the position. Over his 19-year career, which also saw him spend time with the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, Shaq averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds per game, and revolutionized the game at the position, but how opposing teams structured their game plans. ESPN ranked him as the 4th best center in the history of the league, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.
So, it’s fitting that Shaq will be receiving a statue outside the storied Staples Center, along with the likes of Jerry West and Abdul-Jabbar–he just had no idea it was happening. Enter Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted shaq on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, and shocked everyone–especially Shaq, evidenced by the above video clip–by telling the sure-fire Hall of Famer that he would in fact be receiving a Staples statue, and showing him an artist’s rendering of what it will look like once its unveiled next season. Shaq’s eyes appeared to well up once it became apparent that Kimmel wasn’t joking, and Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss followed up with a tweet confirming that the news was true.
— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) January 28, 2016