The game of basketball lost one of the most dominant personalities and players in the history of the game this week, when Shaquille O’Neal retired after 19 seasons. The big guy finished his career averaging 23 points per game, 11 rebounds, and two blocks. But perhaps the most important statistic is this one: O’Neal retired a four-time NBA champion, three times with the Lakers, and once with the Miami Heat. O’Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992, and besides playing for both the Lakers and the Heat afterwards, he made stops in Phoenix, Cleveland, and Boston during his career.
Remembering Shaquille O’Neal
O’Neal was as well known for his comedic antics off the court as he was for his domination on it, from break dancing with LeBron James during All-Star Weekend to posing as a statue in Boston. His personality showed in the first seconds of his retirement presser, when he answered a “phone call” from the “president of the New York Knicks”, asking him to “fly up to New York right after the press conference and apply for the GM job.” During the press conference, O’Neal also claimed to be “The Phil Jackson of little league”, saying that he’s coached his sons’ team to a 36-0 record.
While he was only in Boston for one season, the fans of the Celtics took to him immediately. He was always very interactive with the people of Boston, from the day he got here. While his final season didn’t end the way we wanted, I would like to thank Shaq on behalf of the Celtics’ fanbase for playing as hard as he could when he was healthy. Now that it’s all said and done, I am certain that O’Neal will be remembered as one of the greatest players in NBA history. The numbers speak for themselves, but not only was he a great Center, he was an extremely likeable personality. Thank you Shaq, and we wish you the best of luck in retirement.