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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soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Just think how frighteningly good he would have been if he hadn't let himself go and could hit freethrows

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

    Thanks for the game, Shaq!

    June 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. KRS1

    Kobe ain't retiring until he's scored more points than Shaq

    June 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. ya boy "P"

    betta pay dat child support....HOLLA!

    June 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. TriXen

    Congrats, Shaq!

    June 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. John

    Shaq is a terrible shooter and his basketball skills are mediocre at best. The only thing that puts him over the top is his physical size and he knew how to use it well, if it were not for that he would an average player. The guy can't even stand at the foul line and be better than 50 percent, give me a break.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • fdadfsfs

      as an overall person... your words may strike a few points in the baskets of the jealous, but in all ways, you will fall short in every way of his greatness.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sublime

      I agree, he was a dominant player, but only for his size. No one in their objective right mind can say this man had any skills. I've never been a big b-ball fan but I enjoy watching a good game every now and then. I remember watching him back in his prime and thinking the same thing – "this dude is big, that's about it".

      June 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dtejada

    About phucking time.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Stackthepilot

    What a Talentless Hack!! The guy was a 7'1" tank that was allowed to fowu at will. Had the NBA held him to the same foul standards of other players, he would have quit the game after his first year.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Bob j

    Shaq thank you for all of your entertaining years I wish you could go into the HOF as a LAKER. love you as a person and respect you as a player Good Luck Big Fella and please stay as real as you are today love a BIG SHAQ and LAKER fan

    June 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. tone

    Im glad his big sorry ass is out. I never liked him..Even when he was in his prime Akeem the Dream schooled his sorry ass. He should not even be compared to the greats. He stood in the paint and dunked...no skillz what so ever...big sorry bastid

    June 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. GailS

    The photo of Shaq and Ben Wallace says it all. Ben is a big guy. He's 6'9" and weighs 250 lbs, but he doesn't look so threatening when he's next to Shaq. I'll miss Shaq, he gave us some good games. Good luck to him.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. tone

    Last decade he was a charity case..money that could have went to young better playas went to his creeping down the court witha walker ass. lol

    June 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. NOT HAPPY

    Dang Hoops, lighten up.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. peace ppl

    Shaq is the only Pro athlete....that i could have hung out with...and prolly been treated as a person

    June 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. clownshoes

    hes pulling a farve

    June 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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