The Lakers announced Thursday they will retire the No. 34 jersey of former center Shaquille O’Neal on April 2 when they host the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center.
O’Neal, who won three NBA championships and one regular-season most-valuable-player award during his eight seasons with the team, last played for the Lakers in 2004. He also won an NBA title with the Miami Heat in 2006.
O’Neal, 40, retired in 2011 after playing one season with Boston.
The Lakers also said they will retire the uniform number of former forward Jamaal Wilkes, who was a member of three NBA championship teams during the Lakers’ Showtime Era in the 1980s. Wilkes, who was nicknamed “Silk,” will have his No. 52 jersey retired Dec. 28 at Staples Center at halftime when the Lakers host the Portland Trail Blazers.
And the Lakers formally announced Nov. 16 as the date for the unveiling of a statue of Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at Staples Center’s Star Plaza.
Wilkes is part of the class that will be inducted Sept. 8 into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at Springfield, Mass. O’Neal won’t be eligible for the Hall of Fame until 2016.
Chivas GM likely to be fired
Mexican businessman Jorge Vergara, who took control of soccer team Chivas USA on Wednesday, has already begun to restructure the club’s front office, although a team spokesman said late Thursday no high-ranking officials have been dismissed yet.
“There will be changes coming, for sure,” he said.
Among the first expected to leave is General Manager Jose Domene, who spent part of his day showing Vergara confidant Jose Luis Real, a former Mexican league coach, around the Chivas USA offices. Domene could remain with the team during the transition, although the decision to let him go has reportedly been made, with Real a possible successor.
Domene did not return calls seeking clarification of his position, and Vergara’s spokeswoman in Guadalajara did not respond to a similar email.
Jorge VergaraJose Domene
Jose Luis Real
The most important session in the talks between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn. could unfold Friday, three days after the league submitted its latest proposal to the players. There was no counterproposal from the union Thursday, but such a move could come Friday in New York.
Against this labor-dominated backdrop, the league Thursday released its national television schedule for the upcoming season. The Kings are scheduled to be on NBC Sports Network for their regular-season opener on Oct. 12 at Staples Center against the New York Rangers, which will feature the raising of the 2012 Stanley Cup championship banner.
The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Jordan Eberle to a six-year, $36-million contract extension.
Gregory Bourdy of France shot an eight-under-par 63 to lead the European Masters by two strokes after the rainy first round at Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland.
Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden and Oliver Fisher of England shot 65s late in the afternoon to trail by two strokes.
Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake of Jamaica set Weltklasse meet records despite rain and cold wind at the Diamond League event at Zurich, Switzerland.
Bolt ran the 200 meters in 19.66 seconds. Blake won the 100 meters in 9.76.
Bolt did not run the 100 meters.