Shaquille O'Neal tweets that he's retiring
Seven-foot-1-inch Shaquille O'Neal won four NBA titles in a 19-year career.
June 1st, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Shaquille O'Neal tweets that he's retiring

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.

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Tom Owens

    @lazloman..
    You said "By the way,I doubt the guy posting as Arvydas Sabonis really is Arvydas Sabonis".
    Wow, thanks for clearing that up for us genius!
    Other gems from lazloman:
    Water is wet!
    Fire is hot!
    The sky is blue!

    June 1, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. ctbeckyw

    Yeah! The big bench warmer if FINALLY retiring!! Par-tay in Boston!!

    June 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. h8evry1

    who cares.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. catatemyhomework

    Just because YOU don't care doesn't mean that NOBODY cares. I don't know who annointed you as everyone's spokesperson.

    If you can't say something nice, don't say anything, especially from the privacy of an internet connection.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Everlasting

      You are out of your everloving mind. People should hear the truth, not mushy bullflaggedy crap all the time. People like you like to tell people what they want to hear, so that they do the same to you. That is why this world is such a mess. Everyone is lying and acting. There is only one TRUTH – period. Everything else is a lie. Let people say what they want to say,..it is NOT your world. If you are going to be such a robot and zombie – why dont we just all get pre recorded taping and we can all just hit nice buttons all the time. Be honest before you are sooo nice – it makes for sick people and sick cultures and sicko world. By the way, I ran out of batteries for my recorder and it is malfunctioning – stuck on "Shaq is a Loser"! Thank God he is giving up all the drilling...I mean dribbling!

      June 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Elf

    Shaq, please reconsider your retirement. Stay in the NBA as long as possible. Anything to delay your return to "acting" and "rapping" would be appreciated.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. BeitReal

    I am sorry, but when I look at Shaq, I just see a tainted, disgusting individual – a "nasty" man, is what I call them. I just dont have any respect for someone who is in the limelight of CHILDREN and live such a disgraceful life. Perverted to the core and no loyalty to anyone except himself, if that. And I dont care how many charities he gives to, I as a kid always preferred to meet an honorable individual, than someone who reaches into their pocket to deflect a kids attention. There is much to behold when you meet a righteous man and a loyal, honest, devoted father. Shaq is an embarassment to his race, to men and should be to his family! Shameful..and money cannot buy it away from those that discern and criticize – Judgment of course is left up to someone a lot bigger than you Shaq. You are a moron. How can one be given such talents (Tiger Woods) and sell themselves for cheap lowlife acts of perversion all the time. Low life!!! Perverted men are scaredy cats – I figured that out a long time ago and I did not have to be a man to come to that conclusion. You all are "afraid" of your own shadows, success and intimidation. Weak weak weak. They are girley men. No, I am not mad, I am disgusted, simply because before he retires, there were some other balls he should have given up a long time ago. At least when he does retires, I hope he will retire them all and grow a whole new set of them.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Raidaz2010

      BeitReal, you are an azzhole! Don't like that? Good. You didn't mind dishing it out, did you? I don't either. Who the fuc are YOU to say "he is an embarrassment to his race?" What has THAT got to do with anything. I gather you are probably white (can't be white w/o black, now can you? Otherwise, you'd be the only race with a color-code). You embarrass YOUR race!

      Got any facts to back up your rants? You're just JEALOUS, plain & simple. You're also disgusting! Fair enough? HA! Hater.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pete

    He is dating Hoopz from Flavor Flav's VH1 show, what a loser. Can't he do any better than Flavor Flav's sloppy seconds.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. nathan

    Haters and trolls everywhere today I see. Well anyway, as far as basketball plaeyrs go, he was one of the best centers of all time (top 5). Thanks Shaq for all the entertaining games. Good luck.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Everlasting

      I hope Shaq finds out that life is not all about entertaining. I would be concerned with where his FAILURES are off the field where no one can see them, but GOD. Yesssirrreee, God. Sometimes when we get so high and mighty we forget about morals and being our brothers keeper and not causing our brother to stumble, etc. You keep holding him in high esteem in your eyes...I will keep mine at "sin control" level. Anyway, the wages of sin is death by the way, when we all retire. Lets just hope that Shaqs sins do not total as many basketball shots he has made. From all the rumors, it seems as though he might be forgetting a few tidbits in his life and focusing only on "balls" (PUN INTENDED)!

      June 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kenny

    Congratulations Shaq

    June 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Clyde Drexler

    Shaq. Thanks for having more ego than talent. This is why Hakeem and I swept you out of the finals. You hang with Flavor Flav's sloppy seconds and I am a real man. You couldn't carry my jock fat boy.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Rich

    Dear God, Thank you for hearing my prayers. Shaq is a loser, Kobe will always be bigger and better than Shaq.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Linda

    BeitReal What's up with you? You sound like a bitter ex-wife.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. John

    Shaq is a no talent bully. He uses his size and weight to score baskets, bulldozing people out of the way. It is a travesty to include this sorry excuse of a human being among the greats like Micheal Jordon, Kareem Abdul Jaabar and others. There should be a * next to his name.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. DrD

    And I'm supposed to care that a freak with a thyroid problem has decided to stop soaking us for dollars (at least by playing with a ball)?

    June 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Raidaz2010

      NO, you're not suppose to do anything.! Why would you think you should even reply to this vine, DrD, aka jealous? You chose to.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • DrD

      Raid: The implication of a posted blog entry is that someone should care. I don't.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hakeem

    Hi Shaq. Remember me? I just wanted to say thanks for being my personal be-otch on the court so many times.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Raidaz2010

      DrD

      Raid: The implication of a posted blog entry is that someone should care. I don't.

      DrD, you cared enough to post.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
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