Shaq Officially Announces Retirement From NBA

Shaquille O'Neal has announced his intention to retire after 19 years in the NBA. He will go down as one of the best big men to ever play the game.

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Shaq Officially Announces Retirement In Press Conference Full Of Jokes And Tributes

Shaquille O'Neal was a one-of-a-kind superstar, and his retirement press conference was, fittingly, one of a kind. Shaq announced his retirement in a 30-minute news conference, during which he joked about the New York Knicks' open GM position, gave himself yet another new nickname, bashed critics like Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless and shouted out pretty much everyone he knew.

"Father time has finally caught up with Shaquille O'Neal," he said to begin.

Wearing a pink tie, O'Neal certainly made things interesting. He began by pretending to take a phone call asking him to take the New York Knicks' team president job after Donnie Walsh stepped down. He retired all his previous nicknames and asked everyone to call him "The Big AARP." He explained that he left Orlando to go to the Lakers in 1996 in part because of "a lot of selfish reasons: movies, stuff out there." He explained his feuds with Kobe Bryant as him "getting into business mode" and pushing his buttons to help win championships. He said children have it easy today with the Internet and that he'd be a "valedictorian" if he grew up today. He said he "didn't respect" critics who haven't walked in his shoes, singling out Bayless and Smith, but added that he will miss the media.

All in all, it was classic Shaq. Well, except for the reflective part. For a man who was known for having a healthy ego, Shaq was surprisingly honest about some of his shortcomings. He mentioned several times how much he regretted missing his free throws throughout his career. He explained that he decided to retire now because he was looking at surgery and a nine-month recovery, and he didn't want to let down the Celtics and the city of Boston by not recovering. He said he was selfish at several points of his career and retired in part to avoid needlessly chasing Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list. 

Shaq also was incredibly thankful. He singled out Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers as great coaches, leaving out many others. He sung the praises of Dwight Howard, a man he once feuded with, suggesting that he would be "disappointed" if he didn't win three or four championships. He said he feels Kareem Abdul-Jabbar deserves a statue in Los Angeles before him. Finally, he ended his press conference by thanking dozens of family members.

In the end, though, Shaq left as the personable, unique superstar he always was. The most touching moment was when he talked about his parents and how difficult they had it growing up in a rough neighborhood in New Jersey. Here, Shaq said the questions over whether he reached his full potential are meaningless to him.

"Even if I didn't reach my full potential, I can look at my mom and dad and say 'We made it.'" 


Shaq To Officially Announce Retirement In Friday Press Conference

Shaquille O'Neal will officially announce his retirement after 19 season in the NBA in a Friday press conference. Shaq will participate in the press conference via his Orlando home; O'Neal maintains home in South Florida, as he was drafted by the Magic in 1992 and played for the Miami Heat for 3-1/2 seasons.

NBA TV and will carry Shaq's announcement live at 1 p.m. ET. Shaq tweeted a short video on Wednesday that announced he would be retiring after a tough season with the Boston Celtics; the 39-year-old played just 752 minutes this year, the lowest total of his career by far. (Early in his career, he'd often play four times as many minutes in a season.)

Everyone wants to know what's next for Shaq, and one can imagine he'll drop hints during his announcement. He tweeted on Thursday a hint that ESPN has reached out to hire him in some capacity. Shaq has had a couple of TV shows and headlined three films, two of which were spectacularly bad and the other of which was about basketball.


Shaq Retires, Leaving Most Entertaining Legacy In NBA History Both On And Off The Court

Shaq has retired after 19 seasons, but he much more than just a star on the basketball court -- he was the NBA's biggest media mogul ever.


Shaquille O'Neal Retirement: Kings Fans Hated, Respected Shaq

If there's any group of NBA fans that must be most excited to see Shaquille O'Neal announce his retirement on Twitter Wednesday, it had to be Sacramento Kings fans.

Arguably the greatest era in the history of their franchise took place around the same time Shaq & Kobe were dominating the Western Conference and the NBA. Despite the fact that they had great teams with great players such as Chris Webber and Vlade Divac, the Kings were never able to usurp power from the Lakers and Shaq was a huge part of that.

In 16 playoff games against the Kings, Shaq averaged 30.7 points and 15.7 rebounds.Yep, Shaq averaged 30/15 against the Kings when it mattered most. He didn't just beat them, he destroyed them.

Kings blog Sactown Royalty showed Shaq the respect such an opponent deserved in a post Wednesday, while also adding the proper tinge of loathing that remains.

We can all appreciate Shaq's greatness, and be thoroughly entertained by his antics. (His feud with Kobe remains a highlight.) But in the end, I'll always remember Shaq as the BAMF that destroyed the Kings when it mattered most, the guy that didn't break our hearts in one shot like Horry, but stomped our hope like a megalith Beelzebub.

Goodbye, Shaq. Thanks for ruining our dreams.

For more on Shaq’s Laker legacy, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the Sacramento Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.


Shaq's Retirement: Lakers Say They Will Retire O'Neal's Jersey

The Los Angeles Lakers — the team with which Shaquille O’Neal built much of his NBA legacy — have expressed gratitude for the shelves of hardware he helped bring to Southern California. And in a move that will surprise precisely no one, the Lakers are already planning to hang the jersey of the “Most Dominant Ever” from the rafters.

“We don’t have any specific timetable on this, but you can be assured we will retire Shaq’s jersey,” said Lakers spokesman John Black in an email on Wednesday.

Again, this is largely pro forma. There would be widespread and justifiable outrage in LA and across the basketball world if the Lakers didn’t retire Shaq’s No. 34.

Shaq would be the eight Laker to have his jersey retired, and he will certainly join the other players by being inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame — just the latest in a long line of honors stemming from his time in LA.

For more on Shaq’s Laker legacy, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.


Lakers Owner Will 'Forever Be Grateful' To Retiring Shaq

Jerry Buss, the franchise owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, said the team will "forever be grateful" to Shaquille O'Neal, for eight years L.A.'s All-Star center, who on Wednesday announced he will retire from the NBA after 19 seasons. Shaq chose the Lakers in free agency in 1996 and won three NBA championships and an MVP award in Los Angeles before being traded to the Miami Heat in 2004 amid drama with co-star Kobe Bryant.

In statement released on the Lakers' website, Buss expressed his gratitude for Shaq.

"Shaq had a long and amazing career, with a huge impact both on and off the court," the statement read. "His contributions were significant to the entire NBA, but we specifically appreciate what he did with and what he meant to the Lakers during his eight years with us. We have three championships that we wouldn’t have won without him, and we will forever be grateful for his significant contributions to those teams."

For more on Shaq's Laker legacy, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.


Shaq Retires: Career Highlights Of The Self-Proclaimed 'Most Dominant Ever'

Shaq's retirement leaves a gaping hole in the NBA, as the big man's wide body and planetary statistical profile defines the NBA in his prime. And while O'Neal, who nicknamed himself the "Most Dominant Ever," may not have quite lived up to that billing, he was certainly a great, transcendent player.

O'Neal's early career with the Orlando Magic was rife with stunningly athletic plays and abused backboards, but while more than a few players have shattered glass, Shaq pulled one down:

Shaq didn't win an NBA title with the Magic despite reaching the NBA Finals in 1995, and headed west in 1996 in hopes of brighter lights and bigger successes; he found them in Los Angeles with Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant, winning three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002, and destroying the Western Conference in the low post on the way, blending savvy with exceptional athleticism to become an almost unstoppable NBA center.

In the 2000 and 2001 playoffs, Shaq averaged — averaged — over 30 points and 15 rebounds per game, and he punctuated the Lakers' first trip back to the NBA Finals since the Magic Johnson era by finishing a Bryant alley-oop in the 2000 Western Conference Finals and giving fans one of his most iconic celebrations.

One series later, in the 2000 NBA Finals, he decimated the slighter Pacers, averaging 38 points and 18.3 rebounds per game and dropping 43/19 and 40/24 performances in Game 1 and 2, respectively, to give the Lakers a 2-0 series lead.

After that third title, the Lakers dynasty ebbed, and the Shaq and Kobe feud tore the Lakers apart. Shaq was valiant in the Lakers' 2004 NBA Finals loss to the Pistons, even throwing up a vintage 36/20 in Game 4, but Los Angeles lost in five games, and O'Neal would be gone before the summer was over, traded to Miami for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, and Brian Grant.

Post-Lakers Shaq was a different sort of player: no longer able to consistently overpower defenders, and no longer healthy enough to be 100% for even 70 games of a season, Shaq went from dominant to complement in short order. The Shaq who teamed with Dwyane Wade to help the Heat win the 2006 NBA championship, his fourth, was a situationally dominant player who had just one game of 30 points in the 2006 playoffs.

After another year of getting old on South Beach, O'Neal's twilight odyssey began: the Heat sent him to Phoenix in February 2008 for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks, where an excellent training staff and Steve Nash could only revitalize him so much; the Suns flipped him to Cleveland before the 2009-10 season for Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, and trinkets, where Shaq foundered as a potential sidekick for LeBron James. In 2010-11, after signing with the Celtics for one final run at an NBA title, Shaq played in just 37 games.

Shaq's career is one with an incredible peak and a long, painful decline.


Shaq Legacy Includes Drama With Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade

Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending a brilliant 19-year NBA career on a relative down note as Shaq was injured much of the 2010-11 season and couldn't help the Boston Celtics win another championship. Along with the amazing highs of his career -- an MVP and four titles at the top of the list -- Shaq leaves a legacy of drama with his star teammates.

The feud between Shaq and Kobe Bryant is legendary. Kobe came into the league at just 18 years old, just as Shaq arrived to revive the skidding post-Showtime L.A. Lakers. The duo ascended to great heights, winning three straight championships under Phil Jackson. But the cracks began to show toward the end of the threepeat as Kobe saw himself in more of a role as the team's best player, while Shaq didn't appreciate the young buck gunning for his status. Shaq also somehow found himself swimming in Kobe's rape case in Colorado, when reports leaked that upon being questioned by police Bryant claimed that O'Neal had refined the process of paying off women to be quiet. (That was certainly a low point in media attention on the Kobe-Shaq feud.)

When a power struggle resulted in Shaq being traded to the Miami Heat, the drama didn't end between Shaq and Kobe or between Shaq and his new co-star. Shaq teamed up with Dwyane Wade to lead the Heat on a great run, and together they led Miami to the 2006 championship. But the team fell apart quickly, and Shaq turned on Heat architect Pat Riley ... which caused Wade to turn on Shaq. A bad break-up led to another O'Neal trade, this time to the Phoenix Suns.

There, Shaq got healthy, but allegedly stole Steve Nash's idea for a television show that became ABC's Shaq Vs. Another trade landed O'Neal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was determined to "win a ring for the King," meaning LeBron James. That didn't work, and instead James joined Wade in Miami, along with Chris Bosh, a player Shaq had previously called the "RuPaul" of the NBA, nodding to the world's most famous cross-dresser.

Really, Shaq's feuds with teammates are part of what made him so entertaining ... so long as you weren't a fan of one of his teams.


Shaq Retirement Makes Kurt Thomas Oldest Active NBA Player

Shaq announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending his 19-year NBA career. In 2010-11, he actually served as the league's oldest active player; he turned 39 years old in March. With Shaq's retirement comes a new champion of the middle-aged, as Kurt Thomas -- currently 38 years and 240 days old -- is in line to take the title of oldest active player.

That assumes that Thomas, the relic who played for the Chicago Bulls this season but fell out of Tom Thibodeau's rotation for much of the postseason, remains active. If he doesn't, Grant Hill, one day Thomas' junior, will take the mantle. Hill and Shaq were teammates on the Phoenix Suns for 18 months over half of 2007-08 and the entire 2008-09 season. In fact, that both renewed their good health in Phoenix, like fellow grizzled veteran Steve Nash, is the source of many Fountain of Youth jokes.

Shaq didn't come close to beating the age record set by Kevin Willis, who made his final NBA appearance in 2007 at the overripe age of 44 years and 224 days old.


Shaq Wants New Nickname As He Heads For Retirement, Asks For Fans Help

You'd wonder why a man named Shaquille would need a nickname to begin with, but it's likely that only Method Man himself has accumulated as many aliases and alter egos as Shaquille O'Neal has. "Shaq" is a given, as is its many rhymed variations like "Shaq Attaq," and "Diesel" an acceptable non-abbreviation nickname, while his Superman tattoo lent to another easy nickname.

But there were so many others, and he's not done yet, either, sending a video to Twitter shortly after announcing his retirement to solicit a new nickname from his 36 billion followers.

"Shaq-Fu" developed from his 1993 collaboration with the Fu-Schnickens, eventually sprouting into a poorly received 1994 Sega Genesis game. You could also mine his rap lyrics for further self-dubbings, though every rapper does that kind of thing, with that Fu-Schnickens verse alone including "Tony Danza" and "Dick Butkus." In a song with the Notorious B.I.G. he called himself "Daddy Long." He also once rapped that he was going to "change [his] name to Prince," which would have been about the most confusing nomenclature development of all time, since [Prince name joke from 1993].

But it's with the "Big" series that Shaq's nicknames really took on a life of their own.

After Shaq proclaimed himself "The Big Aristotle" due to his own quotaciuousness, an easy template was established. His move to play for the Phoenix Suns equaled "The Big Cactus," or, more poetically, "Shaqtus." To the Boston Celtics? "The Big Shamrock." Wikipedia also lists "The Big Agave," "The Big Galactus" and "The Big Baryshnikov," among quite a few others, though I'm not exactly sure where each of those came from.

How many more are we missing?

For more on Shaq's retirement, check out the rest of this StoryStream.


Shaq Retires, Leaving Us To Wonder Whether He Could Have Been The Greatest Ever

Shaq retires, leaving us to wonder whether what made him an incredible entertainer also kept him from being the greatest big man in NBA history.


Shaq Retires: Big Man Helped To Popularize Twitter Among Athletes

On Wednesday afternoon, Shaq announced his impending retirement via Twitter. And given his relationship with the platform, it's only fitting that this is the manner by which he retires.

Twitter launched in 2006, but it took several high-profile occurrences, such as SXSW and the Iranian elections, and the participation of major celebrities, such as Shaquille O'Neal, to launch into the mainstream. In 2008, Shaq learned that an imposter was purporting to be him. At the behest of his agent, he took to Twitter himself and quickly found it to his liking:

Meanwhile, Shaquille O’Neal is tweeting with the unbridled zeal of a 12-year-old. He posted 17 times Wednesday, making references to Oprah, yoga, Kobe and fettuccine. He had 1,131 subscribers as of Wednesday night — up from 40 in the morning.

Today, it's more unusual for a well-known athlete not to own a Twitter account, and the social media service is a major source of breaking news in the world of sports. Shaq was the first athlete of his popularity -- and indeed, one of the first individuals of his popularity, period -- to embrace it.

For more on Shaq's retirement, check out the rest of this StoryStream.


Shaq Retires: Career Statistics Place Him Fifth On All-Time Scoring List

Shaquille O'Neal announced his intention to retire from the NBA after 19 seasons, and his career statistics place him high on any all-time list. Shaq, of course, was much more than just his numbers, but his numbers are pretty staggering. He won four championships, one Most Valuable Player and made 15 all-star teams, and even that seems to be underselling him.

For his career, O'Neal averaged 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, but those numbers are skewed because he was a limited player at the end of his career. From his rookie year in 1992 to the end of his peak in 2005, O'Neal averaged 26.7 points and 12 rebounds per game. His playoff numbers are staggering too: 24.3 points and 11.6 rebounds per game on 56.3 percent shooting.

His career statistics place him high on a number of all-time lists. O'Neal scored a total of 28,596 points in his career, which places him fifth on the all-time NBA scoring list, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. He's 12th all time in rebounds, with 13,099. He's second all-time in field goal percentage at 58.2 percent, behind only Artis Gilmore. Despite his horrendous free-throw percentage, he's still 17th all time in free throws made with 5,935. He's also seventh in total blocks with 2,732 and 17th in minutes played with 41,918.

Oh, and he also made $292,198,327 during his career, according to Basketball Reference. Not too shabby.


Shaq Announces Intention To Retire From NBA After 19 Seasons

Shaquille O'Neal has announced his intention to retire from the NBA after 19 seasons. The superstar center, who will go down as one of the best big men in NBA history, posted a brief video on his Twitter account  where he said with a smile that his career was over.

We did it. 19 years, baby. 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.

O'Neal ends his career with 28,596 career points, four NBA championships and one MVP trophy. He was arguably the most recognizable face of the NBA after Michael Jordan's retirement, and he was known as much for his colorful personality as his size, power and production. 

O'Neal will finish his career having played for six different teams. He was expected to be a key factor in the playoffs for the Boston Celtics, but could never get healthy after suffering a calf injury. 

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates.

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