The Los Angeles Lakers (11-20) will visit the Miami Heat (9-20) on Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. During the halftime of the game, the Heat will retire Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 jersey.
Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Broadcast: TV- Fox Sports Sun, TNT; Radio- 790-AM, 106.3-FM, 710-AM (Spanish)
Projected Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Lakers: PG- D’Angelo Russell, SG- Nick Young, SF- Luol Deng, PF- Julius Randle, C- Timofey Mozgov
Miami Heat: PG- Goran Dragic, SG- Tyler Richardson, SF- Justise Winslow, PF- Josh McRoberts, C- Hassan Whiteside
LUOL DENG FACES HEAT FOR THE FIRST TIME AS A LAKER
The upcoming game marks the return of Luol Deng in Miami as part of the Los Angeles Lakers. Mark Medina of OC Register revealed that Deng “wanted to” re-sign with the Heat before the Lakers offered him a four-year, $72 million deal. However, he informed Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra that it’s an offer he couldn’t take down.
“I’d love to have Luol right now and have him suit up,” Spoelstra said. “We thought there was a chance we would get him at a way smaller number. There was that discussion that he wanted to come back and we wanted him to come back, but we obviously weren’t in a position to make that kind of deal.”
The Heat is currently struggling with their young team. They are 9-20 and in the 13th spot in the Eastern Conference. As of now, Deng served as the Lakers starting small forward, sharing his experience with Brandon Ingram.
HEAT TO RETIRE SHAQ’S JERSEY DURING HALFTIME
Shaquille O’Neal spent four seasons with the Miami Heat, helping them win their first NBA championship title in 2006. Dwyane Wade admitted that the Heat became an immediate title contender with the arrival of O’Neal.
“We had a vision to be a championship team,” Wade told The Associated Press on Wednesday, “but it wasn’t for real for real until Big Fella came and pulled up on that truck.”
On Thursday night against the Lakers, the Heat plan to retire O’Neal’s No. 32 jersey. Shaquille O’Neal will be the third Heat player to get such an honor, joining Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr.com
Video courtesy: Youtube/Dunkman827