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Shaquille O’Neal had his number retired by the Lakers last night at Staples Center. As SI’s Lee Jenkins reports, it was one of the most surreal nights of the NBA season. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)

GALLERY: Rare SI Photos of Shaquille O’Neal With The Lakers
JENKINS: Lakers strange season takes awkward turn on Shaq’s Night

Shaquille O’Neal had his number retired by the Lakers last night at Staples Center. As SI’s Lee Jenkins reports, it was one of the most surreal nights of the NBA season. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)
GALLERY: Rare SI Photos of Shaquille O’Neal With The LakersJENKINS: Lakers strange season takes awkward turn on Shaq’s Night

Jerry West speaks at a 1981 press conference as Pat Riley and Jerry Buss look on. Buss passed away on Monday at the age of 80. (Manny Millan/SI)

Jerry West speaks at a 1981 press conference as Pat Riley and Jerry Buss look on. Buss passed away on Monday at the age of 80. (Manny Millan/SI)

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant goes up for a dunk during a game against Utah last Friday.  The Lakers have looked better the past couple games but Dwight Howard still may bolt after the season if coach Mike D’Antoni remains with the team. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

MAHONEY: D’Antoni, Howard rift could lead to Howard’s departure

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant goes up for a dunk during a game against Utah last Friday.  The Lakers have looked better the past couple games but Dwight Howard still may bolt after the season if coach Mike D’Antoni remains with the team. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
MAHONEY: D’Antoni, Howard rift could lead to Howard’s departure

Mark Jackson celebrates after a three-point play during a 1988 game against the Lakers. Jackson, now coach of the Golden State Warriors, is the early pick for Coach of the Year, according to SI’s Ian Thomsen. (Manny Millan/SI)

GALLERY: Rare Photos of Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson celebrates after a three-point play during a 1988 game against the Lakers. Jackson, now coach of the Golden State Warriors, is the early pick for Coach of the Year, according to SI’s Ian Thomsen. (Manny Millan/SI)
GALLERY: Rare Photos of Mark Jackson

Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson chat it up during a game at the Great Western Forum in 1997. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

GALLERY: Rare Photos of Kobe Bryant | Allen Iverson

Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson chat it up during a game at the Great Western Forum in 1997. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)
GALLERY: Rare Photos of Kobe Bryant | Allen Iverson

Tyson Chandler shoots over Metta World Peace during Thursday’s Knicks-Lakers game. Chandler scored 18 points and grabbed four rebounds as New York ran away with a 116-107 victory. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

FORRESTER: Lakers searching for answers after latest loss

Tyson Chandler shoots over Metta World Peace during Thursday’s Knicks-Lakers game. Chandler scored 18 points and grabbed four rebounds as New York ran away with a 116-107 victory. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
FORRESTER: Lakers searching for answers after latest loss

Members of the Los Angeles Lakers — Norm Nixon (10), Mitch Kupchak (41), Michael Cooper (21), coach Paul Westhead, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33), Jamaal Wilkes (52) and Magic Johnson (32) — sit in a classroom during an Oct. 1981 SI photo shoot. (Lane Stewart/SI)

GALLERY: Classic Photos of the Los Angeles Lakers

Members of the Los Angeles Lakers — Norm Nixon (10), Mitch Kupchak (41), Michael Cooper (21), coach Paul Westhead, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33), Jamaal Wilkes (52) and Magic Johnson (32) — sit in a classroom during an Oct. 1981 SI photo shoot. (Lane Stewart/SI)
GALLERY: Classic Photos of the Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant attempts a jumper during a Feb. 2011 game against the Magic. Bryant became the fifth (and youngest) player in NBA history to score 30,000 points on Wednesday, joining Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. (Bill Frakes/SI)

MAHONEY: Lakers pull out team victory on Kobe’s big day
GALLERY: Rare Photos of Kobe Bryant

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant attempts a jumper during a Feb. 2011 game against the Magic. Bryant became the fifth (and youngest) player in NBA history to score 30,000 points on Wednesday, joining Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. (Bill Frakes/SI)
MAHONEY: Lakers pull out team victory on Kobe’s big dayGALLERY: Rare Photos of Kobe Bryant

Lakers center Dwight Howard hangs on the rim after a dunk against the Rockets during Sunday’s game. Howard scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Los Angeles cruised to a 119-108 victory, it’s fourth win in five games. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

NBA BLOG: Meeting D’Antoni’s goals won’t be easy for Lakers
GALLERY: Rare Photos of Dwight Howard

Lakers center Dwight Howard hangs on the rim after a dunk against the Rockets during Sunday’s game. Howard scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Los Angeles cruised to a 119-108 victory, it’s fourth win in five games. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
NBA BLOG: Meeting D’Antoni’s goals won’t be easy for LakersGALLERY: Rare Photos of Dwight Howard

It’s been a tough couple days for Phil Jackson, who thought he had the inside track on the Lakers coaching job only to be awoken at midnight on Sunday with news that the job went to Mike D’Antoni instead. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)

NBA BLOG: Phil Jackson’s goofiest photos 

It’s been a tough couple days for Phil Jackson, who thought he had the inside track on the Lakers coaching job only to be awoken at midnight on Sunday with news that the job went to Mike D’Antoni instead. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)
NBA BLOG: Phil Jackson’s goofiest photos 

A day ago, it seemed like Phil Jackson was a lock to return to the Lakers but by Sunday night, former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni was the Lakers choice after talks with Jackson broke down. In this 1987 photo, L.A.’s new coach dribbles for Tracer Milan of the Italian League during a game against the USSR. D’Antoni was 121-167 during his four seasons coaching the Knicks.  (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

GOLLIVER: Lakers pass on Jackson, choose D’Antoni

A day ago, it seemed like Phil Jackson was a lock to return to the Lakers but by Sunday night, former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni was the Lakers choice after talks with Jackson broke down. In this 1987 photo, L.A.’s new coach dribbles for Tracer Milan of the Italian League during a game against the USSR. D’Antoni was 121-167 during his four seasons coaching the Knicks.  (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
GOLLIVER: Lakers pass on Jackson, choose D’Antoni

Tim Hardaway makes a pass during a 1991 Warriors-Lakers playoff game. (Peter Read Miller/SI)

SI VAULT: Hardaway an unlikely star for Warriors (2.11.91)

Tim Hardaway makes a pass during a 1991 Warriors-Lakers playoff game. (Peter Read Miller/SI)
SI VAULT: Hardaway an unlikely star for Warriors (2.11.91)

Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal throws down a monsterous dunk during a 2000 game against the Jazz. (John W. McDonough/SI)

GALLERY: Classic Photos of Shaquille O’Neal

Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal throws down a monsterous dunk during a 2000 game against the Jazz. (John W. McDonough/SI)
GALLERY: Classic Photos of Shaquille O’Neal

After 28 years as NBA Commissioner, David Stern announced that he’ll resign his post in 2014. In this photo, just his second year on the job, Stern and the world champion Lakers visit Ronald Reagan in The White House. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

IN FOCUS: David Stern’s career in photos 

After 28 years as NBA Commissioner, David Stern announced that he’ll resign his post in 2014. In this photo, just his second year on the job, Stern and the world champion Lakers visit Ronald Reagan in The White House. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
IN FOCUS: David Stern’s career in photos 

The newest members of the Los Angeles Lakers - Steve Nash and Dwight Howard - grace the cover of SI’s annual NBA preview issue. (Peter Read Miller/SI)

The newest members of the Los Angeles Lakers - Steve Nash and Dwight Howard - grace the cover of SI’s annual NBA preview issue. (Peter Read Miller/SI)