June 01, 2011

Shaq Announces His Retirement: NBA center Shaquille "Shaq / Diesel / Big Aristotle / Big Cactus / Big Witness / Superman / Big Agave / Big Cactus / Big Shaqtus / Big Galactus / Wilt Chamberneezy / Big Baryshnikov / Real Deal / Dr. Shaq / Shaqovic / Last Center Left / Shaq Albert / Big Deporter / Osama bin Shaq / Big Shamrock" O'Neal announced to his Twitter followers Wednesday that he was retiring after 19 years. At 7-1 and 325 pounds, Shaq made a huge impact on the league. He was the MVP in 1999-2000, a 15-time All Star and played on champions three times with the Los Angeles Lakers and once with the Miami Heat. He also plays a little girl on the Internet.

posted by rcade to basketball at 07:52 PM - 20 comments

#ShaqRetires The Big 401K calls it a career.

posted by tron7 at 07:24 PM on June 01, 2011

#ShaqRetires The Big 401K calls it a career.

Just like MLB was lesser for Rickey! retiring, the NBA will be lesser for not having Shaq around.

posted by grum@work at 07:53 PM on June 01, 2011

My worst prediction ever went something like, "A man that size can't stay healthy. His knees will go and he'll be out of the league in 4 years." Only 15 years off. I'm glad I was wrong.

posted by tron7 at 08:19 PM on June 01, 2011

I was just thinking that he never won a championship when he wasn't wearing a pointy neck-lined jersey. You know the one I mean? Both Dallas and the Heat are wearing them, the Lakers have had them for years. They seem to be winners, why don't all teams have them?
Also, I totally agree with grum@work, he made the NBA fun. It was always so clear that he was having a good time.
I wonder what awaits him? Law enforcement? Color commentary?

posted by geekyguy at 08:42 PM on June 01, 2011

Memorable Shaq interview after 2003-04 game.

Another in Dallas with a KTCK radio prankster.

The Big Nureyev in a 2007 dance-off with LeBron and Dwight Howard.

Shaq and the Jabbawockeez dancers.

posted by rcade at 09:14 PM on June 01, 2011

Good Lord, he didn't do much of anything for the Celtics this year and I am still so disappointed he won't be around to finish out the contract. Starting the #Retire36 hashtag campaign forthwith.

posted by yerfatma at 09:20 PM on June 01, 2011

Favorite Shaqism: "I'm the first player in history that doesn't want to play defense and still gets in foul trouble."

posted by graymatters at 10:54 PM on June 01, 2011

If he could just hit a damned free throw he'd probably rank among the best ever.

posted by bobfoot at 12:38 AM on June 02, 2011

If he could just hit a damned free throw he'd probably rank among the best ever.

Even without making free throws, Shaq is still one of the best ever!

posted by BornIcon at 07:44 AM on June 02, 2011

He's an amazing basketball player, but he never forgot that he was in the entertainment industry. A great ambassador for the game. I thought his statement that he didn't want to hold the Celtics hostage was great. He's retiring for the good of the team. That's unusual.

posted by bperk at 08:02 AM on June 02, 2011


posted by Debo270 at 09:28 AM on June 02, 2011

He's retiring for the good of the team. That's unusual.

And they have shown their appreciation by presenting him with a fabulous parting gift that is sure to provide him with hours of endless enjoyment.

posted by beaverboard at 09:44 AM on June 02, 2011

Yeah, it was fun to have him on the Celtics. Sorry to see him go.

You should check out Shaq's reality show, Shaq Vs., in which he competes with superstars in various (mostly athletic) disciplines to see if, with a little training and a decent handicap, he can compete with them. Apparently he stole the idea from Steve Nash, but it's still great TV. Best to watch it DVR'ed, as there is about 15 minutes of actual content in each 30 minute show.

posted by Rock Steady at 10:15 AM on June 02, 2011

Absolutely, positively HATED Shaq while he was with L.A. Admittedly, he seems like a great guy and is probably great to hang with. For a number of years he could have been voted the MVP every single year and no one could say he didn't deserve it. Still...hated him.

posted by SooperJeenyus at 11:05 AM on June 02, 2011

Shaq Vs. That show is great. I have to tell you the most impressive one for me was against Justin Beiber in a dance off. I would attach the link, but can't open youtube at work. For as big as he, the guy can dance.

I also like the episodes with the homerun derby and NASCAR. He is a alot more athletic then I ever gave him credit for.

He will def be missed in the game. He was a very entertaining guy but never cocky and an ass like TO or Ocho. He was actually funny and just seemed to love playing.

posted by Debo270 at 12:37 PM on June 02, 2011

As an LSU fan, I remember a much skinnier Shaq, with Stanley Roberts (what a waste of talents) forming a "twin towers" and pretty formidable three-fifths of a starting line-up with Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, nee Chris Jackson. Most memorable college game I ever watched was LSU 148(!!) - Loyola Marymount 141(!) in the Superdome, in which Shaq went for 20 points and 24 rebounds to counter massive performances from Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers. Shaq actually went back to Baton Rouge to finish his degree; all-around goofball but seemingly a pretty decent guy and savvy businessman/entertainer.

posted by holden at 07:59 PM on June 02, 2011

Here you go, Debo270:


That was fuh-nny!

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:48 PM on June 03, 2011

Where the hell did that "Big Aristotle" bullshit come from? Shaq seems like a nice enough guy, and I give him absolute respect for not only finishing his undergraduate degree, but getting an MBA, but I've never heard a profound word come out of his mouth. Unless you consider "Tell Yao Ming that I said 'ping pong ching chong'" to be profound.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:05 PM on June 03, 2011

Big Aristotle is self-proclaimed. Still, I always thought he has done lots of good for the community and the NBA in a thoughtful way.

posted by bperk at 09:00 PM on June 03, 2011

Still, I always thought he has done lots of good for the community and the NBA in a thoughtful way

No argument there at all. I think he's been a positive role model and pretty damn entertaining guy throughout. I admit that it's complete nitpicking to single out what is most likely a tongue in cheek nickname to criticize the guy, but that ain't gonna stop me. That self-applied moniker is about as appropriate as Steven Hawking calling himself "Hoops Monster" or something. Anyhoo-best of luck to the big guy and kudos on a hell of a career.

posted by tahoemoj at 09:28 PM on June 03, 2011

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