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Basketball Hall of Fame: Shaq carved his statue among the greats with thunder

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We witnessed the myth that will be Shaquille O’Neal.

Shaquille O''Neal #34

Shaquille O’Neal’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame has been a foregone conclusion for decades. The Big Aristotle’s career with the Orlando Magic alone would likely have been enough to get this once-in-a-generation talent into the shrine, but his rise to superstardom under the electric red lettering of STAPLES Center made him larger than life. He breached the gates for a new era of championship basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shaq was a superstar when he was flying through the crowds gathered at LSU to watch a phenom in the making. Imagine the draft hype of THAT player in today’s coverage. He became something more as he carved his statue among the greats one thunderous dunk at a time in the NBA. The stats speak for themselves —finding comparisons for his career numbers on Basketball-Reference will almost always lead you back to Wilt and Kareem — but the echoing impact of what he leaves behind lies in the lasting memory of his ruthless ferocity around the rim.

He was a leviathan lurking through the paint, seeking out his next victim with reckless abandon. It would happen in an instant.

Boom:

Bang:

Pow:

And it was glorious.

Broken backboards, Hollywood, titles and superstardom. Shaq became synonymous with celebration in Los Angeles, and for that, his legacy will carry on forever. We can dig it, Big Prestigious.

BONUS: A quick cut of some of the funnier points of his induction speech:

The funniest moments from Shaq's Hall of Fame speech

Of course Shaquille O' Neal had the floor laughing through the night. His Kobe Bryant stinger and 姚明 Yao Ming story were HILARIOUS!

Posted by Silver Screen and Roll on Friday, September 9, 2016