Sportress of Blogitude

Final prep underway on Shaq’s statue for Staples Center ceremony (pic)

The Los Angeles Lakers will formally unveil Shaquille O’Neal’s statue during a ceremony Friday outside Staples Center. With only a few days left before the big reveal, work has begun in erecting the statue in Star Plaza outside the arena.

Shaq himself took to Twitter Wednesday to provide a snapshot of the mammoth statue befitting his sizable frame.

The bronze statue, which celebrates Shaq’s legendary abuse of the rim with his patented two-handed dunks, comes in at a whopping 1,200 pounds, stands nine feet tall and will be suspended 10 feet above the ground.

Created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany, per the team’s official release,  O’Neal’s statue will join those of fellow Lakers greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Jerry West.

Speaking of Lakers legends, Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, West and Abdul-Jabbar are expected to attend Friday’s ceremony.

While it has been yet another season to forget for the young Lakers squad, Friday’s ceremony certainly will allow fans to reminisce about better times for the iconic NBA organization … and ponder if there’s any player currently on the Lakers roster who one day may earn a tribute as great as the one Shaq is about to receive.

[CBS Sports]