End Of An Era: Shaq Retires

Tim DeFrisco /Allsport /Getty Images
Tim DeFrisco /Allsport /Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal, the oldest current player in the NBA, at 39, is retiring after 19 NBA seasons. He made the announcement on a video he posted through his Twitter page. In it, Shaq says, “We did it. Nineteen years baby. I want to 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 reportedly did not inform his teammates of his future plans prior to yesterday’s announcement. EPSN.com listed a few of Shaq’s accomplishments:

  • O’Neal is retiring with the fifth-most points scored in NBA history and has scored 5,250 postseason points in his career, fourth-most of all time. The only men ahead of him on both lists are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan.
  • Shaq was an MVP (2000), a three-time Finals MVP (2000, 2001, 2002), a three-time All-Star Game MVP (2000, 2004, 2009), and four-time NBA Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006). He won each of those during the 1999-00 seasons, which is a pretty unique accomplishment. Only two other men accomplished those same things in a single season: Willis Reed in ‘69-70 with the New York Knicks and Michael Jordan in 1995-1997.
  • O’Neal averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds during 13 separate seasons. No other player was able to accomplish that level of consistent excellence.
  • He also led the NBA in field goal percentage 10 times. No one ever topped that; Wilt Chamberlain led the league in that category nine times.
  • O’Neal shot 52.7% from the free throw line for his career. That’s the third-worst in NBA history among those players with 2,000 attempts. Only Chamberlain and Ben Wallace are worse.
  • Shaq appeared as himself on more than 100 movies and television shows including “Saturday Night Live,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” “WWE Monday Night Raw” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” He’s also been the star of his own network shows such as “Shaq vs.” and “Shaq’s Big Challenge.” On the silver screen, he was a central character in three movies – “Blue Chips,” “Kazaam” and “Steel.”
  • O’Neal was selected to the All-Star Game 15 times while playing in 12. Only one player in NBA history has been selected to more All-Star Games – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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