Shaquille O'Neal, the NBA's giant of giants, tweeted to the world that he will retire from professional basketball in a 16 second video.
Shaq, who scored 28,596 points in his career and grabbed over 13,000 rebounds, expressed his appreciation to everyone by saying, We did it. 19 years, baby. Thank you very much. That's why I'm telling you first: I'm about to retire. Love you. Talk to you soon.''
O'Neal announced his retirement in a tweet before officially notifying his team the Boston Celtics. Word spread quickly as figures from around the NBA expressed their thoughts on Shaq's announcement. Former teammates Lebron James and Dwayne Wade tweeted, I'm honored and truly humbled to have been a teammate of the GREAT @SHAQ..this game will not be the same without him..respect, said Wade.
James tweeted, the most dominating force to ever play the game. Great person to be around, as well. Comedy all the time!!
NBA Commissioner David Stern expressed his thoughts, for 19 seasons, Shaquille O'Neal was literally and figuratively an NBA giant. On behalf of the NBA, its teams, and his millions of fans around the world, I want to thank Shaq for everything he has meant to the league and to the sport of basketball, both on and off the court. We wish him and his family all the best said Stern in a statement.
Shaq's former coach in Miami, where he won his fourth and last title, shared his thoughts on the center's departure.
I'm a little bit sad...It's the end of an absolute 20-year career. Great, great player ... The league's going to miss Shaq. I'm sure Shaq will do something big and beyond, said Pat Riley.
O'Neal's coach from LSU, Dale Brown, also had something to say about the Big Diesel's retirement.
I think it's remarkable what he's done, I don't know how many big men have lasted that long. Here's a guy who was cut from his high school team, and he's been able to play for six NBA franchises. He has won (an Olympic) gold medal, he's a law enforcement officer, he has got his Master's degree and working on his doctorate, which he should have in a few months. He has acted in movies, owns businesses, and he's one of the most benevolent people I know. His career goes far beyond the basketball court. Many things he did quietly that nobody knew about, said Brown.
The future NBA Hall of Famer finishes his career with class and success, finishing with four NBA titles, fifteen All Star appearances, three Finals MVP, one NBA MVP, two scoring titles, fifth on the all-time list of scorers, twelfth in rebounds, and second in field goal percentage with .582. O'Neal played with the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns, Caviliers, and Celtics.