Shaquille O'Neal, 39, and arguably the most dominant center to ever play the game of basketball has announced that he will be retiring from the NBA via his Twitter page ending his 19 year career.
We did it, 19 years, baby, O'Neal said. Thank you very much. That's why I'm telling you first. I'm about to retire. Love you. Talk to you soon, Shaquille O'Neal tweeted on Wednesday.
O'Neal's is 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighs 325 pounds (147 kg). He was one of the heaviest players ever in the NBA.
O'Neal played for six teams in his NBA Career, including the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns and the Boston Celtics.
Three of his four NBA Championships came while he was in his prime, playing for the Lakers along with All-star guard Kobe Bryant. He won three successive championships from 2000 and also won the Finals MVP award three times in a row. His fourth NBA title, also which was last championship he has won, came in 2006 while he played for the Miami Heat. Dwayne Wade took the Finals MVP that season.
O'Neal was also a 15-time All-Star averaging 24.3 points in the playoffs and 11.6 rebounds. He will leave the game as fifth all-time in scoring (28,596 points), 12th in rebounds (13,099 rebounds) and second only to Artis Gilmore among players with more than 2,000 baskets with a 58.2% field goal percentage. His career average for regular season games was 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds.
O'Neal was also the NBA scoring champion in 1995 and 2000.
In 2011, O'Neal moved to the Boston Celtics to pursue another championship that would match his rival Kobe Bryant's five championship rings. However, the Celtics were eliminated in the second round of Eastern Conference Finals by the surging Miami Heat led by LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. O'Neal didn't play for most of the playoffs games against the Heat due to an Achilles injury.
He's one the greatest big men to ever play the game of basketball, LeBron James said during the Heat-Celtic series. Injuries have bothered him the last couple of years. But you can't take away from what he has done in his career. He's a Hall of Fame player who dominated the game in his best seasons.
Kobe couldn't do it without me, Shaq once said in an infamous rap lyric after the Lakers' lost to the Boston Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals. That, like his career, is now history.