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. shaqfan

    Now maybe he will have time for shazam 2

    June 2, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jason Hainline

    That movie sequel you're looking forward too is would actually be Kazaam 2.......... LoL : D

    June 2, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. veq

    As long as we don't get Shaq-Fu 2

    June 2, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Big Paulie

    youtube "Stand and Deliver" and see why basketball was his only hope. Still his best line ever was "Kobe, ni**a tell me how my azz taste."

    June 2, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Curtis Matthews

    Great job and enjoy your retirement

    June 2, 2011 at 4:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Whopt

    I had a better freethrow percentage than Shag does...when I was in the 5th grade. Shaq is an overgrown Barkley. Neither have natural talent. They're just big or we wouldn't even let them play. Have you ever seen either of them try to swing a golf club? If not, you should. It's hilarious.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Whopt

    The NBA's big games are all fixed anyway. It's perfectly legal for an NBA ref. to "throw" a game if he was following orders from the NBA. This has been decided in court. It's all in the book "The Fix is In". MLB and Nascar do it too, and it's perfectly legal in the USA.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • yearone

      I totally agree. It is a shame how sports could be messed up like that it takes the fun out of being a fan.

      June 2, 2011 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. guy

    WELL PLAYED SHAQ, WELL PLAYED...enjoy your next adventure on your life's journey:)

    June 2, 2011 at 6:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. yearone

    Well played shaq. Shaq is one of the few standing when the NBA was actually playing hard basketball. He was a real contender. Funny his biggest injuries came from his toe. Now let's see Kazaam 2, Man of Steel 2, and throw in a reality show.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. john

    The collective IQ of the NBA just increased by a solid 10 points!

    June 2, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sarah

    In other news, the sun came up today...

    June 2, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Jason D

    Shaq....as a celtics supporter believe me you retired a year ago....a 5th grader would have lasted longer then you did on the court and had more of an impact, you were just like setting fire to a couple of million dollars....although that would give off some form of heat

    June 2, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. chazz

    Its too early n the morning u morons to b writing anything about this zillion $$ man. Now u r going to hear about a love child..Thanks Arnie

    June 2, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. noteabags

    I hope he retires better than Brett Favre.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. cwm

    WHO REALLY CARES

    June 2, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • why

      Many people do. He's an NBA legend and he retired after 19 years. Don't be a hater

      June 2, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • nathaniel lindsey

      I do not believe that you could play any sport for 19 years. shaq has his place in history, maybe you do not?

      June 2, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
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