LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Los Angeles artist Rick Dove unveiled his new mural, dedicated to NBA icon Shaquille O'Neal, on Wednesday. The installation can be found at 7753 Melrose Avenue.
Part of Reebok's "Courting Greatness" initiative, the mural celebrates the legendary career of O'Neal, who spent eight seasons with the Lakers.
"Courting Greatness" is a digital tool created by Reebok that allows users to create their own playable basketball spaces in places where they may not actually exist. With so many young players growing up in urban areas, they may not always have a place to play basketball. The "Courting Greatness" application uses camera and measurement features to map out the dimensions of a basketball court, wherever they may be, giving players an alternative way to play. The tool can be found here.
Dove's mural is made out of up-cycled materials, including plywood, rebar, cement and metal fencing that allude to the "junkyard-style" courts that O'Neal played on as he grew up. The cracks in the cement backboards, an homage to the many backboards that Shaq shattered throughout his career, are supposed to represent the dominance that Shaq displayed on the court and the endless impact he has had on the game.
Dove spoke highly of what Shaq meant to him in Reebok's press release, "Shaq had to create opportunities for himself and his family and showed unparalleled dominance in what he did. Growing up in South Central, you are raised to understand that nothing is given to you. I had to make something out of nothing and create those moments and resources for myself the same way Shaq did."
Additionally, another mural was installed in Philadelphia on Wednesday that honors Allen Iverson, another NBA star, who joined the NBA Hall of Fame the same year as O'Neal in 2016. Both murals will be available to the public until November 12.
In their press release, Reebok Director of Brand Activation and Integrated Media, Nicole Adriance, said, "AI and Shaq are two of the most influential icons the game has ever seen both on and off the court, and there's no better way to commemorate their individual journeys than to empower the next generation of players, helping provide tools to play anywhere. We hope our collaborations with Gianni and Rick will also inspire ballers to showcase their own style and create their own court, because as we know, basketball and style go hand in hand."
During his NBA career, O'Neal was a four-time NBA Champion (three with the Lakers), three-time Finals MVP, the 2000 NBA MVP, a 15-time All-Star and the 1993 Rookie of the Year, amongst many, many more awards and commendations. The Lakers retired his No. 34 in 2013.
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