(Photo: Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport)

The Big Fella is about to get some big recognition.

On the heels of Shaquille O’Neal’s retirement last season, the Lakers had announced that the team would in fact raise the #34 jersey… at some point. We now have a better idea of when that will take place.

NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper reports that the team will retire Shaq’s number next season (2012-2013).

The 2000 NBA MVP will join other Laker and NBA legends who’ve shared the same honor; all of whom are members of the Basketball Hall of Fame:

  • Jerry West (#44)
  • Wilt Chamberlin (#13)
  • Elgin Baylor (#22)
  • Gail Goodrich (#25)
  • Magic Johnson (#32)
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33)
  • James Worthy (#42)

Since Shaq was traded in the summer of 2004, there’s been much debat whether the team should honor the 3-time Finals MVP. Ultimately, given his accomplishments, it was inevitable.

Congratulations Big Fella, you earned it!