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. Jewel

    I bet its because they (The Lakers) lost, and he feels a more deserving, younger player on the team deserves a chance to drive them to success...something he is getting too old for. then again, I dont follow basketball. so... whatever

    June 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark C

      Uh, he hasn't played for the Lakers since 2004, but you keep rockin' it Jewel!

      June 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      .... Tard.

      June 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oppus

      Yeah you don't know anything about basketball, but I'd bet you didn't even read the article.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Sorry Jewel you are the weakest link....or at least the most mentally deficient.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Quest

      Ya, it's not even your basketball knowledge, it's that you commented on an article you obviously didn't even read... it details Shaq's career after his exodus from LA. Good job randomly interjecting your null opinion though.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • GailS

      Jewel, it sounds like you missed one of the best basketball seasons ever. In 2004 Kobe fired the whole team, Shaq, Malone, Payton, Fisher, Fox, you name him and they were fired. That's the year they went from being the Lakers to the fLakers. Yeah, and they choked in 2004 to the Piston the same way they did to the Mavs.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • GailS

      And something else ... comment whenever you want to. Don't let these losers intimidate you. Trust me, they've made mistakes too. (shrug)

      June 1, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cpc65

    Who's going to take up all that space sitting on the bench in street clothes now? Shaq, it was er.... entertaining to have you in Boston for last season, but best of luck on the golf courses pal.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RealTalk

    Just be joyful over the guys achievements on court and in the communities he helped, no ones perfect, noone...leave that dude's personal alone,...we all fall short, everyone! Congrats Shaq...nuff said.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jeff

    He never got his dream...to play for the Mavs..but it came close a few times. Thanks for the memories Shaq.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Me

    What a fraud. When fat Shaq came into the league the refs would just let him bowl over opposing players (Vlade Divac..Sabonis...ect) and dunk. The rules of the game did not apply to him. The NBA is a joke. NBA refs are an even bigger joke.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. wannaplayroughok

    Shaq is mosquito repellant now.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. bigdickchaney

    stop hating moral police all have sinned and come short. he hit a few chicks so what he is not a criminal. sounds like some of you guys are jealous you cant do what he did.....just sayin

    June 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. T-rex

    Wonder if he ever found out from Kobe how his a.s.s tastes.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jeff

    gotta bassitball jones

    June 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. The3rdSeal

    Long overdue.Shaaazaammmm!!

    June 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. luke

    Shaq should have retired a couple years ago
    instead of globbing on from team to team, just try to get as many rings as Kobe.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. donna

    After 20 years he'd be eligible for an NBA retirement package of $331.00 /month. If he quits now, he'll still be on the 15 year plan of $274.00/mo.

    Well worth it to stay another year. If not for the fans, do it for yourself, Shaq!

    June 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sublime

    Ironically, this news is more shocking to me because it just made me aware he was still an active player.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. oldsoldierboy

    Folks, looks like we're out of diesel.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. The3rdSeal

    I guess "Hoopz" convinced him to retire from playing hoops.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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