After playing 19 seasons in the NBA the “Boston Herald” reported Wednesday that Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal announced his retirement via his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon. O’Neal wrote that he was retiring and also included a link to a video in which he said “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.”
The Celtics were not informed by the big man of his impending retirement. A team spokesman for the organization Jeff Twiss, told members of the media “To my knowledge, he has not informed any of us that he’s retiring.”
O’Neal signed with Boston last summer hoping to add one more NBA Title to his resume this season. Unfortunately his health precluded him from making a major contribution as he played in just 37 games for the Celtics during the regular campaign. Boston was eliminated in the second round of the NBA Playoffs by the Miami Heat who are now battling the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
The center who began his career in the Association with the Orlando Magic is a lock to become a member of the Basketball Hall Of Fame. O’Neal was named to 15 All-Star teams, won four NBA Titles, and was named the MVP of the Association back in 2000. He would help the Los Angeles Lakers win three straight Titles after signing with them as a Free Agent in 1996. He would also be a key factor in the Heat winning their first NBA Finals in 2006 as they came from behind in the series and defeated Dallas.
The big man would play for five teams during his career in the Association as he would also have stints with the Phoenix Suns and played last year for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Age and injuries however limited his effectiveness over the last couple of seasons which most likely led to his decision to hang up his sneakers.
He was taken by Orlando with the first pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. O’Neal averaged 23.9 points and 10.9 boards per game for his career.