Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Shaquille O'Neal Retires
By Justin Worsley,
Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement on Wednesday on social media network Tout, putting an end to the career of a man who's was not only one of the biggest men in the league, but was also one of the biggest personalities.
O'Neal, 39, was the oldest active player in the NBA this past season and signed a two-year deal with Boston last summer. Injuries slowed down O'Neal and he was only able to play in 37 games this season. O'Neal was told that his Achilles tendon, which was injured on Christmas Day, would require surgery if he wanted to play which needed a nine-month recovery time. Instead of putting the Celtics in a state of limbo as they awaited his return, he instead decided to retire.
O'Neal was the first major superstar to play for the Orlando Magic, who drafted him first overall in 1992 out of LSU. Along with Penny Hardaway, O'Neal led Orlando to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1995 where they were swept by the Houston Rockets.
In 1996, O'Neal left Orlando and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won three NBA Championships between 2000-02. All three seasons he was named the Finals MVP and he also won the league MVP in 2000.
In 2004, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat where he promised the fans that he would bring them their first ever league championship. He made good on his promise, teaming up with Dwyane Wade to win the league title in 2006.
After O'Neal and the Heat struggled in 2008, Miami traded O'Neal to Phoenix. O'Neal spent a season there before playing a year in Cleveland and Boston.
O'Neal ends his career fifth in the most points scored in NBA history with 28,596, 12th in NBA history with 13,099 rebounds and seventh in blocks with 2,732. He trails only Artis Gilmore in career field goal percentage with a 56.3% accuracy.
Along with his three NBA Finals MVP awards and his league MVP, O'Neal has also been named to 15 All-Star games and won the Rookie of the Year award in 1993.
O'Neal will most likely be a first ballot Hall of Famer, however, it is unclear as to which team O'Neal will be enshrined with.