Shaquille O’Neal: Should the Lakers Retire Benedict Shaq’s Jersey?


Traitor. Merriam Webster defines the term as: one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty.

If Benedict Arnold epitomizes the term, perhaps too so does Shaquille O'Neal.

Arnold was a general during the American Revolutionary War. He began the war in the Continental Army but later defected to the British Army. Because of the way he changed sides his name quickly became a byword in the United States for treason or betrayal.


By joining the Boston Celtics, Shaquille O'Neal has sunk to this new low and his legacy will be the one to suffer for it.


Which begs the question: Can Shaq's jersey be retired as a Laker?


O'Neal has always been entertaining if not beloved. The gentle giant with a larger than life personality and a smile to match is, as much as ever, his own worst enemy.


It started with the jilting of the Orlando Magic for the star studded shores of Hollywood and the Los Angeles Lakers.  


Nothing wrong with exploring your options during free agency, it's a players right.  It stung at the time and angered Orlando fans beyond all reasoning. For O'Neal, this was but the first of many such betrayals...


In the beginning of O'Neal's stint with the Lakers, everything was peaches and cream. Winning does that.



When the battle of egos began between Shaq and Kobe Bryant (much as it happened with Hardaway in Orlando), it signaled the beginning of the end.


O'Neal made a number of infamous exclamations such as “I got hurt on company time, so I'll heal on company time,” and numerous shouts of “Pay Me,” to Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss. O'Neal was simply doing what he does best...


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