NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal announces retirement after 19 years

June 2nd, 2011 - 9:40 pm ICT by BNO News  

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS (BNO NEWS) — Basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal on Thursday announced his retirement through a video tweet after a 19-year NBA career.

“We did it,” O’Neal said in his video tweet where he is seen wearing a black t-shirt and a thick beard. “Nineteen years, baby. I want to thank you very much. That’s why I’m telling you first. I’m about to retire.”

O’Neal, from Newark, New Jersey and commonly known as Shaq, won four NBA championships - three with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat, being awarded with the NBA Finals’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) on three occasions - was named NBA MVP in 2000, NBA Rookie of the year in 1993, and appeared in 15 NBA All-Star games.

With a successful college basketball career in Louisiana State University, the Orlando Magic drafted O’Neal first overall in 1992. After leading the team to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1995 - where they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler of the Houston Rockets - he signed a 7-year contract with the Lakers in 1996 as a free agent, only four years after being drafted.

Teaming up with head coach Phil Jackson and guard Kobe Bryant, O’Neal went on to win three consecutive NBA championships with the Lakers from 2000 to 2002.

In 2004, O’Neal was traded to the Heat, and along with Dwayne Wade, he was able to win his fourth and final NBA championship in 2006 after the team defeated the Dallas Mavericks.

O’Neal later played with the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and finally the Boston Celtics.

Standing at 7 feet 1 inches tall (2.16 meters) and averagely weighing some 325 pounds (147 kilograms) throughout his NBA career, future Hall-of-Famer O’Neal was known for using his strength and size with surprising agility. He has been compared with legendary NBA centers such as Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In addition to his NBA career, O’Neal released four hip hop albums, earning a platinum record with his first ‘Shaq Diesel’ album, and appeared in several motion picture films such as ‘Blue Chips’ and ‘Kazaam.’ He has also appeared on a number of TV reality shows and in WWE professional wrestling events.

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