The moment was everything Los Angeles Lakers fans could have hoped for as the “Superman” theme song blared when Shaquille O’Neal’s retired No. 34 was unveiled in the Staples Center rafters Tuesday night.
But the jersey that the number was printed on was far from perfect.
The team mistakenly put O’Neal’s last name and number on the front of a jumbo-sized replica Lakers home jersey, rather than on the back. The oversight stood out next to the eight other retired jerseys because of the V-neck on it. O’Neal was commemorated with a post-1999 Lakers jersey after the uniforms were redesigned. All the other retired numbers appear on scoop-neck style jerseys where the back is pretty much identical to the front.
The Lakers have acknowledged the mistake and plan to correct it.
“The new jersey will be ready and installed prior to Friday’s game,” a team spokesman said in an email Wednesday.
The Lakers host the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
The Lakers also will have to replace the O’Neal jersey recently hung up at the team’s practice facility because of the same error.