Shaq’s Jersey Headed for Rafters

Having one’s jersey retired as a Laker is a particularly significant honor, as the franchise has traditionally reserved the accolade for players elected into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame:

While the team does not follow any specific policy regarding decisions for jersey retirement, team spokesman John Black did acknowledge that the Lakers will at some point retire the jersey of Shaquille O’Neal, who is a no-brainer first-ballot Hall selection when he becomes eligible after the five-year waiting period. The three-time Finals MVP as a Laker (2000-02) announced his retirement from the game on Wednesday, 6/1/11, after a remarkable 19-year career.

Here’s the elite list that Shaq, not to mention Kobe Bryant, will one day join:

44 – Jerry West
13 – Wilt Chamberlain
22 – Elgin Baylor
25 – Gail Goodrich
32 – Magic Johnson
33 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
42 – James Worthy

If another former Laker (Jamaal Wilkes, for example) is one day elected to the Hall, the team would very likely considering retiring his jersey as well.