The news comes straight from the horse’s mouth, as O’Neal posted the brief video announcement on his Twitter account just moments ago. Here’s the text of his video: You can watch the video posted on Tout.com
“We did it. Nineteen years, baby. I thank you very much and that’s why I’m telling you first: I’m about to retire. Thank you. Talk to you soon.”
We’ll have plenty of time to further reflect on one of the greatest careers in NBA history, but in the short term, this shouldn’t come as any sort of surprise to Celtics fans.
In a way, Shaq hurt the C’s prospects this year more than he helped, not because of anything he should be specifically blamed for. Rather, Shaq played so well with the starting five on the onset of the season, that the performance was impressive enough for the team’s front office to rely on Shaq’s iffy health down the stretch. Unfortunately the 39-year-old’s frame was unable to hold up.
Through the first half of the season however, he gave us plenty of entertainment both on and off the floor, as a crucial part of one of the most entertaining Celtics locker rooms in history. The whispers will undoubtedly remain (like they did with Sheed) about Shaq returning for one last March/April run if we have basketball next season, but for now let’s pay tribute to one of the most dominant centers ever to play the game.