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.
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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.
Thanks for a Job Well Done...
Big Dies, biggups to you on a stellar career. All these cats talkin trash wouldnt even dream about a 1 on 1 half court game witcha, and that says what.. LOL, enjoy ya kids and ya cheese my guy, one love
Thank you for leaving. How do they pay millions for someone who can't jump, Shoot free throws, Make a jumper from more than 2 feet from the rim and talks like a 14 year old.
You're just mad because you can't jump, shoot free throws, make a jumper from more than 2 feet from the rim and you sound like a bitter old man.
5th in scoring all-time. Shaq does not need to jump. His God given physical attributes make him extremely dominant as a center, and he can shoot over anyone in the paint without having to jump.He capitalized on that.
I doubt you can even jump or do the minor things that Professional players do. Give man his due, and go try to make any sports team. Jealousnes will get you nothing in life, but heart aches and pain.
We still love you back here at LSU baby! Way to geaux Shaq. All the haters are just jealous and don't realize exactly how much you do for the communities and charities. We love you!!!!!
You can hate on Shaq all you want but at the end of the day the man was one of the most dominant players to enter the game. I always hated Shaq, being from Portland and having the Lakers shove it down our throats. Anyways, he's old and it was time for him to retire but he's already secured his place in the hall of fame.
The one thing I could do without: all the damn Shaq commercials for cell phones and whatnot, you'd think the man would have a billion dollars by now. At least with Barkley we know he has gambling debts so it's understandable.
Seriously, I thought he retired like 5 years ago, who even knew he was still playing!?
Every one knew except You. Relax watch Rush Limbaugh, and you will always be behind in the true world.
So many ppl demonstrating their jealousy because they could never do what the big man did–when any of you can walk a mile in Shaq's shoes, then feel free to mouth off. Until then, keep it where it can't be heard. I'll never forget when we lived in Orlando years ago, Shaq was among the players teaching a B-ball class for kids. My son, a very small boy who loved B-ball got to spend a little time talking with Shaq, it was one of the best days of his life. Thanks for the memories Shaq, we will not forget you!
you will be missed grate career one of the best have fun in every thing you do
Thanks for all the spectacular games. Now go out and enjoy all that wonderful money. You earned every penny.
Big news! I have just learnt he exists.
Yeah, yeah! Great career. Dominant . . . blah, blah, blah. But did you have to show a pic of him in a Lakers jersey? Didnt you all get the tweet: We hate him in LA!
He just meant he was going to sleep for the night.
Simply the BEST! Good guy on and off the court.
Gonna miss that force on the post from one of the most dominate player to have ever touched the rock. My man shaq, for whom teams created plays designed just to stop him. Will miss him like m. Jordan
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