Shaquille O’Neal: Why Los Angeles Should Retire the Big Diesel’s Jersey

Shaquille O'Neal has called himself a number of nicknames over the years. These names include Superman, Diesel, Shaq Daddy, The Big Aristotle, The Big Cactus, Wilt Chamberneazy and the Big Deporter.

His recent signing with the Boston Celtics has caused some turmoil among Lakers Nation, which encompasses much more than his new proclaimed nickname the "Big Shamrock." Some Lakers fans describe his signing with Boston as a traitorous move.

To realize the extent of such feelings, one must understand the true rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. Unlike what actor Jake Gyllenhaal proclaimed during the NBA playoffs, one cannot be a true Celtics and Lakers fan at the same time. Either one bleeds green or one bleeds purple and gold.

To frame the situation in a better light, the NBA's two most storied franchises are now separated by one title. Every Lakers championship is a hit against Boston and vice versa.

Hence, the worse thing possible for Lakers fans is for Shaq to win a ring this year for Boston, putting the Celtics two titles ahead of LA while tying beloved star Kobe Bryant with five rings.

This is what true sports rivalries are all about. Yet, despite all the animosity, Shaquille O'Neal deserves to have his jersey retired in LA after he finishes his career.

To address Laker fans' worries, there is no guarantee that Shaq will win a ring in Boston. While Shaq can help bolster the Celtics front line and attack the Miami Heat at its weakest position, Shaq hasn't exactly been a positive force for his recent teams.

He was somewhat of a locker room cancer toward the end of his playing time in LA, Miami, Phoenix, and Cleveland. If you were at the Bellagio, you might be wise to bet that he doesn't quite gel with his new Boston teammates.

Once Kendrick Perkins comes back from injury, the Celtics may have a rotatio...

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