And they won't put it off just because Kobe Bryant might still be playing. Team spokesman John Black addressed the matter this afternoon in an email to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles. The key quotes:
We don't have any specific timetable on this, but you can be assured we will retire Shaq's jersey.... As you know, players have to wait five years to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but we could possibly do a jersey retirement ceremony for Shaq prior to that. At this point in time I'd guess there's a really good chance that Kobe will still be playing in five years, and by that time Shaq will be elected to the HOF and we will have retired his jersey.
I have no problem with this. I don't know what purpose would be served by making Shaq's jersey retirement wait for Kobe's, other than to prolong the tiresome Shaq-Kobe feud that everyone should've left behind years ago. There's no hierarchy when it comes to retired jerseys. Kobe and Shaq are both Laker immortals, and both should be honored according to the team's normal procedures. Everything else is petty crap that belongs in the past.