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After 19 Hall Of Fame Years in the NBA, Lakers' Legend Number 34 Shaquille O'Neal Retires

posted Jun 1, 2011, 9:00 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Apr 12, 2020, 10:50 PM ]

He is known by many names; Superman, the Big Diesel, The Big Aristotle, Shaq, among many others. Rules in the National basketball Association were changed because of him, most notably before he set foot in the NBA players were allowed to hang on the rim after dunks; shortly after his arrival that rule was changed due to the game delays that were caused when the NBA referees were forced to stop various games that he participated in, because of a shattered bat board or a basket that he completely knocked over.

 This is the impact of one Shaquille O'Neal a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer whose impact on the game and his influence on the community around him will not be soon forgotten. Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement today in a very classy and unique way, he posted a video on twitter, why? Because he wanted to make sure that his fans were the first to know about his retirement even before the media. But just the kind of person I think he is; the late Lakers' legend play-by-play broadcaster Chick Hearn would comment during Lakers' games about Shaq's sense of humor and positive attitude; who can forget Shaq-a-Clause, during the holiday season he would put on a Santa Claus costume and give to the less fortunate in the community.


He was perhaps one of the most dominant centers in NBA history, so much so, that former Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson devised the "hack-a-Shaq" which was a strategy devised in order to intentionally foul O'Neal to keep him from annihilating his opponents on the offensive end late in games. Shaq is a notoriously bad free-throw shooter, thus teams would force him to beat them with his free throws, which he progressively got better at during his career.


Shaquille O'Neal became somewhat of a journeyman he spent the first three years of his career with the Orlando Magic, spent his prime with the Los Angeles Lakers, and finished his career playing for the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they hated Boston Celtics.


However, to me, he will always be a Los Angeles Laker in the same category with all the Lakers' legends Magic Johnson, Jerry West, James Worthy, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and eventually Kobe Bryant. I sincerely hope that Shaquille O'Neal decides to retire as a Los Angeles Laker and I hope to see his number 34 hanging from the rafters at Staples Center along with Magic Johnson number 32 and James Worthy's number 42 adding one more number to the long list of untouchable legends of the Lakers' organization. One more number, that allows me to say "yes, I was there to witness the Shaquille O'Neal era in Lakers' history."

Mr. Shaquille O'Neal, thank you for being the person that you are, and thank you for the memories with the Lakers, sir.


Killer Bees Have Made Their Home in the Golden Lake

posted Nov 7, 2010, 2:05 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated May 11, 2016, 4:29 PM by Isaac López ]

The Los Angeles Lakers are now 6-0 and are one of only three undefeated teams in this young 2010-2011 NBA season. The Lakers' offense has been clicking on all cylinders despite the fact that Kobe Bryant is recovering from off-season knee surgery and Andrew Bynum will not be available until possibly early December. The leadership of Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher has been unparalleled, combined with the Lakers' young sensational talents who the media has dubbed the killer bees, Shannon Brown and Matt Barnes, I believe the Lakers will be able to seriously contend for a third straight NBA championship.


The Killer Bees bring energy to the Lakers not seen since the Showtime era; their flare really gets the crowd involved and makes them a valuable 16th man. It will be hard for any team to come in as a visitor into Staples Center and walk away with a victory for their team.


The Lakers' defense needs some work, during the last game against the Toronto Raptors they allowed then to easily penetrate into the key this led to easy layups under the basket, this is maybe do to the absence of Andrew Bynum who is a presence in the paint. Defensive rebounds mainly by Ron Artest have been the Lakers' saving grace.

This should be an interesting season, not only because of the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat in the East but I believe that the Western Conference will be harder competition with teams like the San Antonio Spurs, the Oklahoma City Thunder, yes and even the Los Angeles Clippers with players like Baron Davis and Blake Griffin. the Clippers should not be under estimated this year, and don't fall asleep on the Golden State Warriors, like the Clippers I don't see the Warriors as contenders just yet; but both teams can certainly sneak into the playoffs if opponents don't take them seriously.


It should be a fun, interesting and exciting NBA season in both conferences, however I believe that the best team is the defending NBA champion until proven otherwise; and lucky for me, that team is my Los Angeles Lakers. Go Lakers!



The Los Angeles Lakers Celebrate Their 16th NBA Championship: They Raised the Banner, Got the Rings, and Showed the Fans Their on Court Lakers' Flash

posted Oct 27, 2010, 12:38 PM by Isaac Lopez

The Los Angeles Lakers opened their 2010-2011 season last night with a victory over the Houston Rockets; they are on a quest to capture their 17th NBA championship and their third straight NBA championship for the second time in franchise history. They seem to have all the pieces in place; the greatest coach in NBA history, arguably the second greatest Laker in franchise history next to Magic Johnson, in Kobe Bryant, stable ownership and the right mix of young talent, savvy veterans and a top-notch court general in Derek Fisher.


Phil Jackson is chasing his 11th NBA championship as a coach in what is perhaps the last year of his storied coaching career, and I sincerely hope he accomplishes his goal for two very important reasons:


This would be his second three straight titles with the Lakers and is fourth overall since he won three straight championships twice with the Chicago Bulls.

The Lakers 17 championship would tie the Boston Celtics for the franchise with the most championships in NBA history.

For these two reasons I would argue that this would be the sweetest championship in Lakers' history.


 On the horizon however are the Miami Heat which had a shocking off-season by signing Lebron James and Chris Bosh, adding them to a team already led by Dwayne Wade. With the Heat fail to realize however is that NBA championships are won as a team and not as a collection of All-Stars. There is no substitute for the experience and passion that Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and Derek Fisher bring to the table. I realize that it will take a while for the Miami Heat to cultivate their chemistry as a team. I highly doubt however that they will be able to check their egos at the door. I don't believe they have the right mix of the aforementioned elements to win a championship. The Boston Celtics look more like a team that can challenge the Lakers because they have those elements that it takes to win a championship, of an experienced coach and the right mix of young talent and veterans with championship experience. the Heat experienced that firsthand when they lost to the Celtics last night, a game that was anticipated by many as an easy win for the Heat.


There is no doubt that basketball is the most beautiful sport of all professional sports because it combines speed, athletic ability, power, grace, and aerial maneuvers flawlessly. I can already tell it's going to be a fun competitive season especially in the Western Conference. Go Lakers!


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