The great Shaquille O’Neal announced his retirement yesterday via video on Tout.com. The 7 foot 1 inch behemoth of a man decided to call it quits at the age of 39 after 19 spectacular seasons in the NBA because of an achilles injury. Shaq broke into the league as a lean 20-year-old out of Louisiana State University (LSU) with the Orlando Magic. After 4 years with the Magic, Shaq signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers and led them to 3 straight NBA Championships from 2000 to 2002, winning the Finals MVP Award in each year. In 2004, the Lakers traded Shaq to the Miami Heat. There, he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and went on to win his 4th NBA Championship in 2006. Shaq was again traded in 2008, this time midway through the season to the Phoenix Suns. After a season and a half with the Suns, he was again traded in 2009 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Shaq spent one season with the Cavs and then signed as a free agent with Boston Celtics in 2010. Shaq was limited by injuries late in his career, playing in only 37 games for the Celtics.
Shaq ends his illustrious career with:
4 NBA Titles, 3 Finals MVPs, 1 MVP, a Rookie of the Year, 15x All-Star, 2 Scoring Titles, 8x All-NBA First Team, 2x All-NBA Second Team, 4x All-NBA Third Team, 3x All-Defensive Second Team, 3x NBA All-Star Game MVP, 5th Leading Scorer in NBA History
Shaquille O’Neal is way more than a spectacular basketball player, he’s one of the most beloved and entertaining athletes both on and off the court we’ve ever seen. Shaq provides great quotes and sound-bites on a consistent basis and is a very well-rounded individual. He released 5 rap albums, starred in 2 movies, and appeared in a plethora of television sitcoms. Shaq has also tapped into the reality television outlet, hosting his own show called Shaq Vs. Shaq has used many nicknames to connect with fans and media. He always has a smile on his face and seems to be a fun-loving guy who enjoys life. Shaq is definitely in the top 5 in terms of greatest centers of all-time and I wish him the best in whatever he decides to venture into in the future.
I leave you with some of my favorite Shaq nicknames:
The Big Aristotle (my favorite), The Diesel, Shaq Fu, The Big Daddy, The Big Shaqtus, The Big Shamrock, The Big Baryshnikov, The Big Leprechaun