Courtesy Black Sports Online
Shaquille Oâ€™Neal has always had a great connection with the fans. So it should be little surprise that when The Diesel decided to retire he informed the fans first. On Wednesday, Shaq released a video via his Twitter account announcing that he was hanging up his size 23â€²s after 19 seasons in the NBA.
â€œWe did it.Â 19 years, baby. I want to thank you very much. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m telling you first that Iâ€™m about to retire.â€
There had been some talk about whether he would call it quits this summer. Boston Celticsâ€™ general manager Danny Ainge said he expected Oâ€™Neal would retire. Shaqâ€™s mother thought her son might come back for one more year. In recent seasons, Oâ€™Neal was a shadow of the player who dominated the paint for a decade and a half. This past year, injuries limited him to just 37 games with the Celtics.
In his prime, the league hadnâ€™t seen anything like Oâ€™Neal â€“ a player with enormous size who also had the kind of quickness and explosiveness of a smaller man. From his Rookie of the Year campaign in 1992-93 through his final championship run in 2006 with the Miami Heat, Shaq was the NBAâ€™s most dominant post player.
Read more about Shaq’s career at Black Sports Online