Author: Adrienne J. Romero
On Friday, March 24th, a very special event took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles — Shaquille O’Neal’s statue unveiling.
According to LAist.com, the nine-foot 1,200-pound sculpture was created by married couple artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany who specialize in making statues of sports figures.
The Amranys met in Italy in 1985 while they were both studying sculpting. In 1994, they were given the job of creating a 16-foot statue of Michael Jordan by the Chicago Bulls, which is, arguably, the greatest sports figure statue to ever be created, end of story.
Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal joined the Lakers in 1996; the Lakers hadn’t won a championship in eight years during this time.
During his eight seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, O’Neal averaged 27.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, while simultaneously growing into one of the most dominant and athletic players in NBA history.
The Hall of Famer went on to win three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002 alongside with All-star Kobe Bryant.
“When you win three titles together and you’ve had so much impact on one another’s legacy as a player and as a champion,” Bryant said by phone this week, per LA Times, “there is absolutely no way in the world I would miss an opportunity to talk about him and thank him and to acknowledge everything that he’s done for not only this organization and the city, but for me personally.”
It’s great that Shaq is getting a statue that’s basically his exact height and weight!
Here’s a semi-terrifying video of the statue getting installed.
Congrats again, Big guy.