Tag:Shaquille O'Neal
Posted on: June 14, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 6:33 am
 

Report: Alleged Shaq sex tape leads to kidnapping

Posted by Royce Young

Two weeks ago, future Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal retired from the NBA after 19 seasons. What came next was a big question. Well, in the immediate future, it looks like he has to deal with some weird stuff.

According to TMZ.com, Shaq is in the middle of a robbery, sex tape and kidnapping situation.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Ladell Rowles -- a member of the Main Street Mafia Crip Gang in L.A. who is friends with Shaq -- along with 6 other members went on a search and destroy mission in L.A. on February 11, 2008.  They believed a man named Robert Ross had the sex tape and they tried getting it back with the help of a gun or two.

According to the police report, the seven gang members met up with Ross at a convenience store -- Pink Dot -- on the Sunset Strip.  The men allegedly surrounded Ross' Rolls Royce Phantom with guns drawn, jumped into Ross' car and ordered him to drive to Rowles' house in South Central L.A.

Once there, Rowles allegedly pistol whipped Ross and demanded that he turn over the sex tape.  Ross said he would get the tape and bring it back to them.  The seven men then allegedly took Ross' Rolex, diamond chain and earrings, along with $15,000 in cash -- then let Ross go.

The seven men have been arrested and charged with robbery, kidnapping and other crimes. They are currently in the middle of a preliminary hearing and being held in jail.

We've learned LAPD detectives interviewed Shaq to determine what, if any, involvement he had in the alleged crimes.  When the case file went to the D.A. Shaq was not listed as a suspect.
As for the supposed sex tape, Ross claims Shaq brought women to Ross' home and had sex with them while he was married to ex-wife Shaunie. Reportedly, Ross told Shaq that a security camera had caught the action. However, Ross told police that the security footage automatically recycled and no longer exists.

TMZ contacted Shaq's representatives, but hasn't heard back yet.

Category: NBA
Posted on: June 1, 2011 8:55 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 9:12 pm
 

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

The Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly retire center Shaquille O'Neal's jersey. Posted by Ben Golliver. shaquille-oneal

Throughout Wednesday, tributes to Shaquille O'Neal have poured in from the likes of NBA commissioner David Stern after the center announced his retirement on Twitter.

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor O'Neal in the most visible way possible: by retiring his No. 34 jersey.

ESPNLA.com reports that a Lakers spokesperson has committed to retiring O'Neal's jersey but does not yet have a timeline in mind.
"We don't have any specific timetable on this, but you can be assured we will retire Shaq's jersey," said Lakers spokesman John Black in an email on Wednesday.

"We don't have a specific policy on it," Black wrote. "As you know, players have to wait five years to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but we could possibly do a jersey retirement ceremony for Shaq prior to that."
O'Neal paired with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant to win three titles for the franchise. His time with the Lakers is generally regarded as the high point of his career, making the jersey retirement decision a no-brainer.

Earlier Wednesday, Lakers owner Jerry Buss recognized O'Neal for that accomplishment in a press release.

"Shaq had a long and amazing career," Buss said. "A huge impact both on and off the court.  His contributions were significant to the entire NBA, but we specifically appreciate what he did with and what he meant to the Lakers during his eight years with us. We have three championships that we wouldn’t have won without him, and we will forever be grateful for his significant contributions to those teams."

It will be interesting to see which -- if any -- of the other teams that O'Neal played for will follow suit. Orlando, where he began his career, would seem to be a no-brainer. Despite the heartbreak of leaving the city for the Lakers, he was the face of the franchise and guided the Magic to the NBA Finals. Miami is another possibility. O'Neal teamed with guard Dwyane Wade to help the Heat win the 2006 title. His other stops -- Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston -- will probably pass.

The Lakers have only retired the jerseys of seven players to date. All seven have been selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The full list: 
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- No. 33
  • Elgin Baylor -- No. 22
  • Wilt Chamberlain -- No. 13 
  • Gail Goodrich -- No. 25
  • Magic Johnson -- No. 32
  • Jerry West -- No. 44
  • James Worthy -- No. 42
Posted on: June 1, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 7:19 pm
 

David Stern on Shaquille O'Neal: 'He's a giant'

NBA Commissioner David Stern, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison and Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss react to the retirement of Shaquille O'Neal. Posted by Ben Golliver.

shaq-stern

On Wednesday, longtime NBA center Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement. Within hours, the league's top executive and the owners of the two franchises he won titles for were already singing his praises.

CBSSports.com's Ken Bergers reports from Miami that NBA commissioner David Stern credits O'Neal with nothing less than the rise of the sport as a whole. "If you’ve come of age with the NBA, you haven’t known an NBA without Shaq," Stern said. "You’ve known just an incredible, incredible athlete and competitor, and you’ve known somebody who, with his sense of humor and his presence, has helped to grow our game tremendously."

Stern said that O'Neal will be remembered not only for his Hall of Fame career but also for his engaging personality. O'Neal's legacy, Stern said, is "that you can be a terrific competitor and you can do it for a very long period of time. And as difficult as it is sometimes, you can retain your sense of humor. Shaq has always maintained his sense of humor."

There will be no replacement for O'Neal, Stern said. "He’s a giant. He’s physically imposing, he has an imposing smile. In the game, he imposed his will, and he has done it for quite a long time. It’s been a great run and we’re going to miss him greatly and we hope we can find ways to keep him involved in the game."

Heat owner Micky Arison also sang O'Neal's praises, crediting the center with helping the team win its only title, in 2006. "Obviously, he means a championship," Arison said. "He was great to be around. Loved having him on the team. Had an incredible sense of humor, incredible sense of marketing – both marketing himself and marketing the game. He was a joy to be around and the league is going to miss him."

In a statement released Wednesday evening, Lakers owner Jerry Buss shared Arison's sentiments, saying he would remember O'Neal both for his on-court and off-court contributions. "Shaq had a long and amazing career," Buss said. "A huge impact both on and off the court.  His contributions were significant to the entire NBA, but we specifically appreciate what he did with and what he meant to the Lakers during his eight years with us. We have three championships that we wouldn’t have won without him, and we will forever be grateful for his significant contributions to those teams."

As for Shaq's next step? Arison suggests the personable O'Neal consider a second career in television broadcasting.

"I definitely think he should take Charles Barkley’s job," Arison quipped. Barkley has been an outspoken critic of the Heat, who are on the verge of winning an NBA title, in recent months.

Posted on: June 1, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Shaq: larger than life, on and off the court

Shaquille O'Neal's larger than life personality set him apart from the NBA's other great big men. Posted by Ben Golliver.

shaq-rap
Shaquille O'Neal took the old “You can’t coach seven feet” cliché and multiplied it to the nth degree.

America can’t reasonably hope to reproduce – let alone coach – a player with his combination of talent, height, weight, strength, quickness and athleticism again. A sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famers and four-time NBA champion, O'Neal's successes have dominated the NBA for nearly two decades.  As a physical specimen, O’Neal stands as a once-ever product. The closest approximation we’ve seen so far – Dwight Howard – would have been overpowered by O’Neal in his prime. The next top American big man in the pipeline – Jared Sullinger – doesn’t belong in the same sentence or weight class as O’Neal; The undersized potential No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft would need to crane his neck just like the rest of us to get a good view of the XXL No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 Draft.

There are bits and pieces of all of the league’s premier big men in O’Neal. His dominance on offense was matched only by Wilt Chamberlain. The shattered backboards were Daryl Dawkins redux. His rebounding drew comparisons to Moses Malone, his shot-blocking instincts to Bill Russell. His jump hook wasn’t nearly as deadly as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook but he made it work. Ditto his footwork and short turnarounds, loosely and somewhat hopelessly co-opted from Hakeem Olajuwon. O'Neal has even carried the philanthropic torch passed down by David Robinson.

Shaq: The Legacy
Stats (All-Time List)
  • Games: 1,207 (23rd)
  • Minutes: 41,918 (17th)
  • Points: 28,596 (5th)
  • Rebounds: 13,099 (12th)
  • Blocks: 2,732 (7th)
Accomplishments
  • First overall pick, 1992 Draft
  • Rookie of the Year, 1992-93
  • NBA MVP, 1999-00
  • Four NBA Championships
  • 15-time NBA All-Star
  • 3-time NBA Finals MVP
  • 2-time NBA Scoring Champion
  • Career Salary: $292,198,327

What O’Neal possessed that none of those big men had was a natural, authentic, instantaneous bond with both basketball media and fans. His goofy, oversized, larger-than-life persona made him the center of the NBA’s attention for more than a decade. It's quite possible that personality and his off-court exploits will come to define him even more than his on-court production.

When it comes to pure marketability, O’Neal was the heir to Michael Jordan, but with a key difference.  “Be Like Mike” was the ultimate one-way road. Jordan was omnipresent and yet, oddly, inaccessible. The enduring image of Jordan is his competitive stare. He was an old-style hero in the Mt. Rushmore sense.

O’Neal was not that. He cast himself, against all odds, as the everyman. O’Neal never cared if he was carefully packaged or not. He helped turn the phrase “self-promoter” from a slur into a full-fledged business plan. He was who he was – whether you, or his critics, liked it or not. He rapped poorly on his own terms, appeared in terrible movies on his own terms, “sold out” to Hollywood and the Los Angeles Lakers on his own terms, shacked up with a reality TV star on his own terms and, through all of it, made himself appear totally accessible, on his own terms. 

He was able to accomplish this because he developed a unique brand of fearlessness: He was never afraid of being the punchline because he was always in on the joke. O’Neal wasn’t burdened with the world that faced Russell. He never took himself too seriously or criticism too personally, like Abdul-Jabbar. He learned to deal with the attention his size and skill attracted without turning on the media or turning into a recluse, like so many big men that came before him. He defied every stereotype constructed for star NBA centers up to that point: he was too cuddly to be a freak; too happy to be a monster.

In doing so, O’Neal established himself as a super-sized superhero, paving the way for modern athletes to re-think their interactions with fans. An early adopter of Twitter, O’Neal, true to form, announced his retirement in a video appeal directly to his fans which, conveniently, helped get the video delivery service into headlines across the country. A shrewd marketer but one, always, without pretense. 

If Jordan was the greatest manufactured NBA commodity of all time, O’Neal stands as the league's most effective self-promoter. Jordan’s aura sold you his shoes, underwear and sports drink; Shaq sold himself … and whatever products go along with him. Legions of professional athletes – across all sports – have followed his path. It feels like there's no turning back. 

It’s a credit to O’Neal’s personality that we never tired of it. Despite the injury-plagued seasons, his weight problems, the endless string of nicknames –The Big Aristotle, Diesel, Shaq Fu, Big Daddy – and the regrettable forays into reality television, we can’t get enough, even after all these years.

O’Neal may be leaving the NBA but he’s not about to disappear from the planet. He will make sure of that. Shaq isn't going anywhere whether we like it or not.

Posted on: June 1, 2011 5:25 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Shaq Retires: The Life and Times of the MDE




Posted by Matt Moore

Most Dominant Ever.

How does one have the gall to call themselves that? To declare to the world that in the NBA's long history of great big men, you are the one that exerts his will the most, that takes some serious guts. And a body big enough to hold them.

Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement Wednesday after a 19-year career that saw him win four NBA titles, the MVP award, three Finals MVP awards, and 15, count 'em 15 All-Star selections. He was the first truly "fun" big guy, the first big to really cross over into popular culture (if you don't count Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's turn in "Airplane"), doing movies, reality shows, and even a 311 video. But it was always his work on the floor that put him at the top of everyone's mind.

O'Neal was the first big to challenge the idea that weight was an offensive hindrance. A literal giant who gained more and more bulk as his career wore on, O'Neal's greatest asset was often his backside. O'Neal's humongous rump was what allowed him to bully his way to the basket during the Lakers' early 00's run of championships, paving the way for his startling efficiency. But it wasn't always like that. Back in the day, Shaq was just a kid in Orlando, loving life and dunking on everyone.

Magic Time: Young and in love (with the rim)

O'Neal took the league by storm in 1993. A big man who could run the floor, who moved with speed, he was at his athletic best. His rookie season he averaged 24-14 with 3.5 blocks per game. It was like nothing anyone had seen before. There had been other big men, to be sure. This was the time of Hakeem Olajuwon, who would go on to teach Shaq about the value of footwork later. But in the beginning, he was just a lovable kid, making the most out of being literally the biggest star in the world. And while his agility and athleticism were breathtaking, he was still strong as an ox. Observe:



That's just bananas. We freak out now over Dwight Howard dunking on toy rims wearing a cape. O'Neal was physically tearing down the basket as a youngster in Orlando. It was there that O'Neal started to recognize his own potential as a media star as well. He starred in Blue Chips with Nick Nolte, which began a long, and often painful for the rest of us, movie career. And he became one of the top players in the game, almost immediately. If it took us a decade to recognize how truly great Olajuwon was, we did not miss the boat with Shaq. You couldn't. If you tried, he'd remind you, often by dunking on your head.

But O'Neal also went through what so many stars today experience, what drove them to the decisions they're so often criticized for. O'Neal lost to Hakeem's Rockets and Jordan's Bulls. He wanted a bigger stage, and he had no reservations about going out and getting it. So he went to the Lakers in 1997, leaving a franchise in ruin.

There was no outcry nationally, he was not booed everywhere he went, he was not vilified. Nationally, people were just excited the Lakers were relevant again, even if it meant sending Orlando back down to the sewers. And it was in Los Angeles that O'Neal earned that MDE nickname he would later give himself.

Gone Hollywood

Shaq: The Legacy
Stats (All-Time List)
  • Games: 1,207 (23rd)
  • Minutes: 41,918 (17th)
  • Points: 28,596 (5th)
  • Rebounds: 13,099 (12th)
  • Blocks: 2,732 (7th)
Accomplishments
  • First overall pick, 1992 Draft
  • Rookie of the Year, 1992-93
  • NBA MVP, 1999-00
  • Four NBA Championships
  • 15-time NBA All-Star
  • 3-time NBA Finals MVP
  • 2-time NBA Scoring Champion
  • Career Salary: $292,198,327
29.7 points. 13.6 rebounds. 3.8 assists. 3.0 blocks. That was O'Neal's statline in 2000 when he shot 57 percent from the field and come out with a 30.6 PER. Those are just numbers. But they give an indication of how unstoppable O'Neal was with the Lakers. The later Lakers are reconsidered now as more Kobe's team than they were. It was the big man who set up everything. The weight O'Neal gained only seemed to make him that much harder to guard. You couldn't front him, too tall. You couldn't try and muscle him off, too strong. And if you did manage to keep your position, work him to the middle, and force a shot and not a dunk? He had the drop step hook Howard dreams of in his sleep.

In that Golden Era at the turn of the century, O'Neal changed the course of franchise history, bringing the Lakers back to prominence and all the glory that goes with it. The Lakers were unstoppable in that stretch. It wasn't like the modern Lakers team that fights with top notch opponents and manages to win more than they lose. They were the predominant force of that era and it was mostly because of Shaq. Bryant came on later and did his damage, certainly contributing. But O'Neal at this point was just such a behemoth. There was nothing to be done.

Dominant is phrased so often as just "best." Or "most impressive." The reason O'Neal's terminology of that fits during this era of his career is that he was able to exert his will on anyone. There was no one who could stop him. Certainly not Erick Dampier or Shawn Bradley or a Bradley tank. He would park that gigantic butt of his into an opponent, send them staggering back a foot, back in, and either gently slide it over the rim or hammer it down, leaving nothing but a whoosh in his wake.

You could see the body start to slip a bit as O'Neal struggled with weight control. He played 74 games in 2001, and wouldn't hit over 70 games again until 2005. But that stretch of years also defined the best of his career. Three championships, an MVP, and a place among the all-time Laker greats, even if it would be forgotten in the bitterness to come. Oh, yeah, and he did this:



Helping Flash

The meltdown of the 2004 Lakers against the Pistons changed everything. Shaq's ego had only gotten bigger with his success. Kobe Bryant felt he was the star. Phil Jackson had had enough of all of it, and the team blew up the championship core, sending Shaq to Miami for Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, and pieces. Shaq joined an up-and-coming Heat team that would have likely slowly contended for a title year after year with young talent. But Pat Riley is not a man of patience. He saw the MDE was available. He went out and got him.

In Miami, questions were rampant about how O'Neal and Wade would co-exist, how the two would work together, who the man was. O'Neal responded to the criticisms of his ego and conditioning by playing 73 games, scoring 22 points per game with 10 rebounds. The next year he played only 59, but it was enough to get the Heat into the playoffs, where they made an unlikely run that netted O'Neal his fourth championship. This two-year era (before the physical meltdown in 2007) is overlooked most times in favor of his L.A. days, but O'Neal wasn't just a scorer, defender, and partner for Wade in this championship run. He was a mentor, and a locker room leader. O'Neal showed that you can be bombastic, arrogant even, and still be a leader of men.

This was the last time O'Neal was truly relevant.

Self-exile to the Valley

In 2008, with O'Neal clearly on the decline, unable to stay healthy for any significant stretch, and boasting a roster of athletic talent that could run the floor and keep the ball constantly in motion for Mike D'Antoni's offense, Steve Kerr made a terrible decision. He traded for Shaquille O'Neal, cashing in his biggest bargaining chip, Shawn Marion's expiring contract. O'Neal made big claims about winning championships when he's angry for Phoenix, and he was supposed to bring the defense necessary to win a championship alongside Steve Nash. Except that it was very much like giving a fish a bicycle. A big, flashy bicycle with one busted wheel.

O'Neal couldn't stay on the floor. The trade was a disaster, and wasted the last years of Steve Nash's prime because of Kerr's bravado. But O'Neal kept developing, staying popular by embracing Twitter and becoming even more of a goof. He was lovable. He was huge. He didn't play much, but he was still awesome. Like when he pulled this out at the 2009 All-Star Game:




Even big men fade away

O'Neal joined Cleveland via trade in 2010. The final piece to the LeBron championship puzzle, part 5,453 (copyright Danny Ferry 2010). But it was simply over. O'Neal couldn't stay healthy -- who can at that age with that amount of wear and tear? -- and he watched with disgust as his teammates were unable to help him or LeBron against Boston. O'Neal was actually one of the most effective players for the Cavs against the Celtics, but it wasn't enough. So O'Neal got the idea that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

O'Neal joining the Celtics was supposed to change things for his career. It would allow him to win one more than Kobe Bryant, one more than Tim Duncan, to go out with five rings and contribute to a team supposedly as tough as he is. But again, the body just couldn't sustain.

It is a harsh reality that this is what happens, as unfortunate as it is unavoidable.

But O'Neal's legacy won't be tarnished by those final years in Cleveland and Boston the way Allen Iverson's sad decline hampered his. For one, the four titles help. For another, O'Neal always carried himself with respect, even if he lacked it for others (like, oh, say, Kobe Bryant as in his famous rap). For another, nothing can take away his cultural or performance legacy.

Talk to guys who played against him and they groan trying to explain what it was like to guard him. Talk to kids who watched him destroy everything in his path from backboards to Shawn Bradley to Erick Dampier. Talk to reporters who covered his quotes, analysts who watched his dunks, anyone, everyone knows who Shaq was and what his imprint on the game was.

He walks away now, and though he might not be the best big man of all time, given the mark he left on the NBA and how he continues to make his mark on global culture, he's still the Most Dominant Ever.



Posted on: June 1, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 5:56 am
 

Where does Shaq fit alongside the all-time bigs?

Posted by Royce Young



Any time one of the great players announce their retirement, it immediately becomes the task of people like me, fans and everyone else to start deciding where that player fits in the pantheon of their sport. How lasting is their legacy? How great were they really?

And, with Shaquille O'Neal hanging up the size 23's after 19 seasons, it must be asked: Where does he stand alongside the all-time big man greats?

Let's look at Shaq's resume: He averaged 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He scored a total of 28,596 points which ranks him fifth all-time. He grabbed 13,099 rebounds, which puts him 13th all-time. He won four championships, played in five NBA Finals, won one MVP, three Finals MVPs, three All-Star Game MVPs, played in 15 All-Star games, won two scoring titles, was named to first-team All-NBA eight times and maybe had the greatest personality of any NBA star ever.

Pretty good resume, I'd say. Shaq's career was watered down toward the end as he finished out with a bit of a whimper his last three seasons playing in Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston. That has sort of has made people forget what a truly dominant big man he was. In back to back playoffs, Shaq averaged 30-15. That's pretty much unheard of and yet Shaq did it without much issue.

In terms of pure statistics, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are better. But comparing eras in basketball is extremely difficult because of the competition players faced, the style of play and the way the game was called. Is Shaq better than Wilt? Hard to say. (Don't ask Scottie Pippen -- he'll say Dwight Howard is. And then Kareem will yell at us.)

Shaq: The Legacy
Stats (All-Time List)
  • Games: 1,207 (23rd)
  • Minutes: 41,918 (17th)
  • Points: 28,596 (5th)
  • Rebounds: 13,099 (12th)
  • Blocks: 2,732 (7th)
Accomplishments
  • First overall pick, 1992 Draft
  • Rookie of the Year, 1992-93
  • NBA MVP, 1999-00
  • Four NBA Championships
  • 15-time NBA All-Star
  • 3-time NBA Finals MVP
  • 2-time NBA Scoring Champion
  • Career Salary: $292,198,327
But there's absolutely no doubt whatsoever that in terms of the most elite big men to ever play, Shaq stands tall right alongside them. I like defining greatness in terms of dominance. And for more than a decade, Shaq dominated unlike any center we've seen in the modern era. His game wasn't pretty. He used brute strength and size to overpower smaller defenders. He shot horribly from the free throw line. He never scored outside of the paint. He wasn't so much a basketball player as he was an offensive lineman with nifty feet and a soft touch at the rim.

And no one could stop him. As much as Shaq used raw power to beat opponents which bordered on what was legal, he also took a beating on the block every night. He's probably the most difficult player ever to officiate and nightly he was hacked, grabbed and fouled hard. His weakness was the second easiest shot in basketball -- a wide open look straight on from 15 feet away -- and yet he only sunk free throws 52.7 percent of the time.

Is he better than Wilt, Russell, Kareem or other big men you want to bring into the mix? I don't really know. Contrasting what someone accomplished in 1962 is difficult to do with 2002. What we do know for sure is that Shaq, for a time, was the most physically dominant player in basketball. Gameplanning for him was impossible. Figuring out any way to stop or slow him down didn't happen. He got what he wanted, when he wanted.

Rank all you want. If someone said they were going to hit me in the face with a claw hammer if I didn't, I'd probably put Shaq third behind Russell and Chamberlain, but that's just because that seems to be the consensus. Though, maybe we'll reconsider once we get away from Shaq's career a bit, and let it all sink in. Maybe time will help us forget about the sad ending in Cleveland and Boston.

It's unlikely, though, and here's why: There are some qualms with Shaq's career. It does feel like something was missing. That maybe Shaq could've actually been better than he was. There were so many outside distractions -- acting, rapping, police work, making up nicknames, pop culture icon, reality TV star -- that Shaq probably sacrificed a little greatness and a little of his on-court legacy for all of that.

Would he have it any other way? Probably not. He had the career he wanted, won titles, dominated games and had a ton of fun doing it. He probably had an opportunity to win even more and really cement his place at, maybe the top of any list, but he picked another path. And I don't think we should blame him for it.

Shaq certainly had a career that will stand the test of time. He was bigger than the game. Nobody owned the league, media, fans and everything else quite like Shaq. He called himself Superman and there's no doubt, he played like him too.

He's not the greatest center ever, but he certainly was great. He wasn't the Most Dominant Ever like he dubbed himself, but dominate, he did. All of that stuff never seemed all that important to Shaq, which is what made him so relatable. He wasn't the near psychotic killing machine like Michael Jordan. He was more Magic Johnson -- fun, crazy, outgoing and still very awesome at basketball.

Category: NBA
Posted on: June 1, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 8:57 pm
 

Shaquille O'Neal tweets: 'I'm retiring'

Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal says that he is retiring on Twitter. Posted by Ben Golliver

Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal, long the oversized center of the NBA's attention, posted a simple message on Twitter on Wednesday: "im retiring."

That message included a link to a video in which O'Neal, seated at an office desk, addresses a camera. "We did it," O'Neal says smiling. "Nineteen years, baby. I want to thank you very much. That's why I'm telling you first that I'm about to retire. Love you. Talk to you soon."

Here's the video via YouTube user zeblowtorch. (Hat tip: The Basketball Jones.)



O'Neal, who is 39 years old, saw his 2010-2011 campaign with the Boston Celtics marred by injuries. He played in just 37 games, averaging a career-low 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds. Hobbled by an Achilles injury, O'Neal was able to play just 12 minutes in the NBA playoffs and the Celtics were bounced in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the Miami Heat.

Shaq: The Legacy
Stats (All-Time List)
  • Games: 1,207 (23rd)
  • Minutes: 41,918 (17th)
  • Points: 28,596 (5th)
  • Rebounds: 13,099 (12th)
  • Blocks: 2,732 (7th)
Accomplishments
  • First overall pick, 1992 Draft
  • Rookie of the Year, 1992-93
  • NBA MVP, 1999-00
  • Four NBA Championships
  • 15-time NBA All-Star
  • 3-time NBA Finals MVP
  • 2-time NBA Scoring Champion
  • Career Salary: $292,198,327

A spokesperson for the Celtics said O'Neal had not yet informed the franchise about his plans to retire. "To my knowledge, he has not informed any of us that he's retiring," Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss told the Associated Press. O'Neal had a player option for the 2011-2012 season worth $1.4 million which he will forego if and when he files his official retirement papers with the NBA. Roughly two weeks ago, O'Neal's mother predicted that he would return to play for Boston next season.
 
O'Neal's career accomplishments make him a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer. A 15-time All-Star, 4-time NBA champion and the 1999-2000 MVP, O'Neal was perhaps the most physically dominant center the game has ever seen.

The Associated Press sums up his career arc nicely.
One of the most charismatic players in NBA history, O'Neal was a franchise-saver when the Orlando Magic made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 draft. He took them from the lottery to the playoffs in two years, and then led them to the NBA Finals in his third year before they were swept by the Houston Rockets.

O'Neal, 39, signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 and had his greatest success there, winning three titles alongside Kobe Bryant and coach Phil Jackson. But amid tension between O'Neal and Bryant over credit for the team's success, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in the summer of 2004, fresh off a loss to the Detroit Pistons in the Finals.

After 3 1/2 years in Miami, a tenure that included his fourth NBA championship, O'Neal became a veteran-for-hire, moving to Phoenix and then Cleveland and finally Boston. But he couldn't deliver another title for Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire with the Suns, with LeBron James with the Cavaliers or with the Celtics' Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

At each stop, he endeared himself to the fans and his new teammates with his effervescent smile and playful attitude, including the habit of adopting a new nickname that he felt embodied his role with his new team. In Phoenix he was the "Big Shaqtus"; in Boston, the "Big Shamroq."
O'Neal leaves the game as the NBA's No. 5 all-time scorer, No. 12 all-time rebounder and No. 7 all-time in blocks. His career field goal percentage of 58.2 percent ranks him second all-time. His career averages: 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.

Posted on: May 19, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Shaq's Mom: 'He's going back to Boston'

The mother of Shaquille O'Neal believes her son will not retire and will play for the Boston Celtics next season. Posted by Ben Golliver. shaq-is-fat

Shaquille O'Neal was the Big Disappointment rather than the Big Diesel for the Boston Celtics this season. At 39 years old, O'Neal simply couldn't get healthy or stay healthy for the Celtics, who bowed out in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Anyone who watched an out-of-shape O'Neal laboring up and down the court -- able to play just 17 minutes combined since Feb. 1 -- couldn't help but conclude this was the end of the road for the future first ballot Hall of Famer. O'Neal has been in a steady decline, posting career-lows in points (9.2) and rebounds (4.8) in 2010-2011, and that trend isn't like to reverse.

Of course, there's the matter of his contract. O'Neal has a player option for $1.4 million next season. While the Celtics aren't sure whether or not he will return, O'Neal mother, Lucille, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that she thinks he will give it another go.
“He went there to help them win a championship, and they didn’t do that this year,’’ Lucille said. “It bothered him so much that he could not play. He felt like he let the Boston team down and the community down, so I could believe he’s going back to Boston. He’s not in a place to be traded or anything like that.’’

Lucille added O’Neal hasn’t indicated to her what he plans to do.

“I don’t know because Shaquille has got such passion for the game,’’ Lucille said. “(Retirement) we’ve always told him that’s up to him. Whatever decision he makes, we’re still going to be behind him 100 percent.’’
The worst case scenario for next season is ... welll... it would look a lot like this season. A string of injuries, a bunch of charitable donations and a larger-than-life personality that's great for the game as a whole. That's not too bad but it doesn't do much for Boston's title dreams.

A best case scenario? The Celtics manage his minutes better, he drops a ton of weight and he can be an impact player during a playoff run. That'd be awesome, but don't hold your breath. 
Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
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