Shaquille O’Neal Retires! Announces Retirement on TwitterCategory: Basketball
After dominating the NBA for 19 years, Shaquille O’Neal has announced on twitter his retirement.
“We did it. 19 years baby. I want to thank you very much. That’s why I’m telling you first. I’m about to retire. Love you. Talk to you soon.”
In an interview with ESPN, he said,
“I really, really thought about coming back. But this Achilles is very damaged and if I had it done the recovery would be so long we’d have same outcome as this last year — everyone sitting around and waiting for me.”
“I didn’t want to let people down two years in a row. I didn’t want to hold Boston hostage again.”
“I’m letting everybody know now so Danny (Ainge) and the organization can try to get younger talent. I would love to come back, but they say once the Achilles is damaged it’s never the same. I don’t want to take that chance.”
Coming into this season, he signed up with the Boston Celtics for a last chance to add another ring to his fingers, but alas, it was not meant to be as he was only able to play in 37 games in the regular season due to an Achilles injury. The mind is willing but years of banging inside has taken a toll on Shaq’s body.
Thus, the most dominant center to ever play in the NBA is finally hanging up his jersey.
Listed at 7’1″ and 325 lbs., Shaq AKA The Big (insert word here) is a physically massive figure. But unlike other giants of the game, he was not lumbering at all. In fact, he could run the floor like a guard, jump high and hustle aggressively. He was so athletic given his size and bulk.
Superman as he was came to be known was the 2000 NBA Most Valuable Player, has eight All-NBA First Team selections, four-time NBA champion (three with the Lakers, one with the Heat and a 15-time All-Star (watch Shaq put on a show in his final appearance).
Shaq retires after playing in 1,207 games while amassing 28,596 points (ranked fifth all-time), 13,099 rebounds (12th), 2,732 blocks (7th) and a .582 field goal percentage (2nd).
So, what’s next for Shaq? A career as an MMA fighter perhaps?
Check out these page dedicated to Shaq’s retirement from NBA’s website with other player’s reactions and career highlights. [Shaqtacular ride ends after 19 years]