Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement yesterday, June 1, 2011. He addressed his fans via Tout, a real-time video messaging service. "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."
And yes, he's right. He did do it. His nineteen years in the NBA brought him four championship rings. He played on six teams throughout his professional NBA career. O'Neal was first drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. After his time with the Orlando Magic (1992-1996), he went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2004), Miami Heat (2004-2008), Phoenix Suns (2008-2009), Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010), and lastly the Boston Celtics (2010-2011.)
O'Neal had an extremely impressive career, totaling 28,596 career points (5th all-time.) He was named 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year, 2000 NBA MVP, 3-time NBA Finals MVP (2000-2002), and 15-time NBA All-Star. He had 13 seasons with a 20 PPG and 10 RPG, the most in the NBA.
In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released four rap albums, appeared in numerous films and his own reality shows. O'Neal had some notable nicknames throughout his career - The Diesel, Shaq Fu, Superman, The Big Daddy, The Big Shaqtus, The Big Shamrock. All nicknames aside, we know he was a true game-changer. O'Neal's talent and huge personality will leave a lasting impression on the history of the NBA.