NBA star Shaquille O'Neal appears ready to hang up his size 23 basketball shoes after a 19-year pro run that saw him collect four championships and reach fifth on the league's all-time scoring list.
"I'm retiring" and "Shaq ooout" was posted Wednesday to his Twitter account, which also links to a video in which he talks of his intentions.
“We did it. Nineteen 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,” Shaq said in the video on Tout.com, linked from his Twitter account.
His team, the Boston Celtics, has not announced his retirement, but it did re-tweet one of O'Neal's retirement posts.
Rare photos of O'Neal | Shaq answers CNN viewers' questions in January
O'Neal, a 7-foot-1-inch center, won four NBA titles and reached the league finals two other times. He is fifth on the NBA’s all-time career scoring list with 28,596 points - short of only Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain - and 12th on the league’s all-time rebounding list, with 13,099.
Drafted after his junior year at Louisiana State University in 1992, O’Neal would earn NBA rookie of the year honors with the Orlando Magic, with whom he played four seasons. He reached the NBA finals for the first time in 1995, but the Magic lost to Houston.
He started collecting championship rings in Los Angeles after signing with the Lakers ahead of the 1996-97 season. He teamed with Kobe Bryant to win three straight NBA titles from 2000 to 2002, earning NBA Finals MVP awards in all three years.
O’Neal eventually went to Miami, where he would pick up his last NBA championship with the Heat in 2006.
He went on to play for Phoenix and Cleveland before signing with the Boston Celtics in August. Limited by injury, his points-per-game average with Boston was under 10 (9.2) for the first time in his career, and he missed the first round in this year’s playoffs before scoring two points in two games in the Celtics’ second-round loss to Miami.
Miami star LeBron James, whose team beat Dallas on Tuesday night in the first game of this year's finals, tweeted his respects to O'Neal - his teammate for one year in Cleveland - on Wednesday.
"What a career for Shaq Diesel!!" a post to James' Twitter account said. "The most dominating force to ever play the game. Great person to be around as well. Comedy all the time!!"
Another former teammate, Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash, tweeted Wednesday: "Congratulations @SHAQ on your quadruple platinum hall of fame career. I know you're not riding off into the sunset...what's next?"
Riding off into the sunset would be hard to imagine. O'Neal has long pursued entertainment interests off the basketball court, appearing in "Kazaam," "Steel" and the basketball film "Blue Chips." He's set to appear in the upcoming film "Jack & Jill," starring Adam Sandler.
"It’s fun. It’s an opportunity for me to show my funny side," he told CNN International in January.
He's also reveled in tongue-in-cheek public appearances, including turns as a Boston Pops conductor and a human statue in the Boston area's Harvard Square.
As a rapper, O'Neal sold more than 1 million copies of his debut album, "Shaq Diesel." He also expressed interest in pursuing law enforcement opportunities, having worked for the Los Angeles Police Department and the Miami Beach Police Department during some offseasons.
I'm surprised. As CNN is a media company, I'm surprised the article didn't say the tweet has "gone viral" like most reporters in 40-69 age group.
Shaq. You are fat and a cheat.
And you have a very silly name.
Shut up. Lets see you play in the NBA for about 20 years, lets see you be 7'1 with 4 NBA championships.
I double-dog dare you to say that to his face. I bet you'd reconsider.......
Heh, that's funny. How many times did we see Sabonis staggering back from either 1) a Shaq elbow, or 2) uh, nothing at all? Every time they played each other one of the two was happening nearly every play.
@Sabonis: Silly comment. Why must someone say something negative and/or stupid on every single thread? The guy's one of the greatest, he's retiring, end of story. Geez.
JesusLungRumbleFish reports that Shaq has a funny name? Irony prevails again...
It's amazing how many of you clowns don't get the joke. Look at the name of the poster simpletons.
I love how everyone who is "defending" Shaq has no idea who Arvydas Sabonis is.
I don't think this is a legitimate post, I've reported this as abuse.
A cheat? Yea that is what haters say.
Without having a rematch with Static Shock?! I'm... Well... Shocked!
I loved that episode!
Its' about time...and you still can't shoot a free throw
What can you shoot, fake Kobe?
GEAUX SHAQ! WE STILL LOVE YOU BACK HERE AT LSU BABY!!!!
Interesting.. I thought he retired years ago.. he's a cheater anyways..
You don't have a clue as to what you're talking about. Do you even watch basketball?
Shaq you will be missed. Thanks for giving us a great 19 years of excitement!!!!
It's about Damn time!!!!!!Old and out of shape...Game over
Old and out of shape but still playing a professional sport... what do you do?
Shaq is my favorite player of all time I followed your career all the way from lsu I was a little boy watching you and its sad to see you go but you laid your mark as the most dominating player in the big man spot
One of the ways I'll remember Shaq from the early days, when he'd hang on the hoop and backboard and just work at, till it was in a million pieces. Great Stuff!
and he was ahead of the curve on players tatoos
He might as well retire, he's been done for a couple of years now. Its such a shame we all get older. Shaq was something special before the injuries caught up with him. By the way, I doubt the guy posting as Arvydas Sabonis really is Arvydas Sabonis. Sabonis played over ten years in the NBA and I kinda' doubt he'd use a CNN blog to take a cheap shot at Shaq.
...and here I thought Shaq retired years ago. Huh.
I would like to see some of you people when you are 39 years old and have a ton of mileage on your knees, lets see how you perform.
TO Shaq: I could not stand you as an opponent because you really did a number on my team. But as a player, you are one of the greats!!!! Good Luck and thx for 19 amazing years!!!
Never was a fan but the guy was a great athlete for having such size. Hopefully he finds something to keep him busy.
Of course he has something to keep him busy–Hoopz! :D
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