Meet the artist of the new Shaq statue at the Staples Center
Gravity-defying monument will dangle so high that you can actually walk under it.
Shaq is known for many things – basketball player, commercial pitchman, even the occasional genie (remember the "Kazaam" movie?) – but now the 45-year-old all-star will be able to add one more title to his resume: statue.
On Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers are unveiling a gravity-defying statue showing Shaq mid-dunk that will hang 10 feet off the ground.
The statue comes courtesy of Israeli sculptor Omri Amrany, famous for immortalizing American sports icons at stadiums across the U.S. This statue will join those of other famous Lakers that Amrany has created for the Staples Center including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and Magic Johnson. Amrany also recently unveiled a monument dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team.
Amrany has built more than 165 sports statues. All of this from a guy who says he's not much of a sports fan. "I am the fan of the world," he told From The Grapevine. "I watch sports for the human achievement. As an artist, as a philosopher, I'm always looking for that."
“We look forward to having Shaq join the other legends who have been honored with statues at Staples Center," said Jeannie Buss, the Lakers president. "He is a giant not only in size, but also in stature and in what he accomplished as a Laker. Shaq literally broke the ground for the site, and was hugely responsible for not only getting Staples Center built, but for making it one of the most successful and famous arenas in the world. It’s an honor that is well deserved.” During his career with the team, O'Neal led the Lakers to three NBA championships.
Watch the video below where Jimmy Kimmel surprised Shaq with the news about Amrany's statue:
Amrany and his wife have made countless statues – not just for sports stadiums. They remain incredibly busy, some years producing as many as 45 sculptures during a 12-month period. When asked which one is his favorite, he had this response at the ready: "The one that I didn't do yet."
Want to see more amazing photos? Check out FTGV's Featured Photo collection.
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