Pat Riley

Shaquille O'Neal has his number retired by Miami Heat before game against Los Angeles Lakers

Shaquille O'Neal has his number retired by Miami Heat before game against Los Angeles Lakers

No matter where Shaquille O’Neal is honored, his history is inextricably linked with the Lakers.

And so, as he spoke before his Miami Heat jersey retirement ceremony Thursday night, he spoke of the first man who made him believe he could be one of the greatest NBA players of all time: former Lakers general manager Jerry West.

“When I got to L.A. I was doing a whole bunch of stuff and he pulled me in and just said, ‘Listen, I know you have a lot going on, you have movies and you are doing albums,’” O’Neal recalled. “And he made me look up [at the Lakers’ retired numbers] and said, ‘If you want your name here one day, you will have to start...

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