Shaquille O’Neal To Retire

Well, folks… it appears that after 19 NBA seasons The Diesel has finally run out of fuel.  Via ESPN.COM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Shaquille O’Neal, the man with four rings, 28,596 career points and scores of nicknames, has finally decided to call it quits, ending one of the most colorful careers in NBA history that will surely culminate with a Hall of Fame induction.

O’Neal, 39, officially announced his retirement Wednesday using the new social media tool Tout, a real-time video messaging service to announce to fans: “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.”

This news took me by surprise, and saddens me a little bit.  Even though it would be generous to call him a shell of his former self, and he struggled to make it through the season, Shaq is one of those guys that it’s hard to imagine the NBA without.  He could still entertain on the court due to his sheer size and power (unmatched in the history of the game), and he’ll never be too old to entertain with his off-court antics.  Shaq is a genuinely funny guy.  He doesn’t have to force it or make it awkward…cough…DWIGHT HOWARD…cough…and I’ll genuinely miss his presence in the league, as I’m sure pretty much everyone else will.  He may not be able to run and jump like he used to, but he was still good for some pretty consistent low-post offense and his share of hilarious quotations.  We’ll miss you, Shaq! 

I wonder what the real Superman has up his sleeve for his post-basketball career?  You know he’s gonna be doing something on TV… the dude is almost as great an entertainer as he is a basketball player.  My suggestion: join the TNT crew on Inside the NBA.  Shaq and Charles Barkley?  That sh!t would be priceless.

My favorite Shaq moment?  It’s got to be…

Classic.  Enjoy the rest of your life, Shaq!  Fun fact: Kurt Thomas is now the NBA’s oldest player.  Fun Fact: Kurt Thomas’ wife does not look like Hoopz.  You’re a bastard, Shaq.

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