After 18 incredible years, Shaquille O’Neal could hang up his size 22 high-tops. Shaq just finished up what was probably the most disappointing season of his career, playing in just 37 games for the Boston Celtics, and averaging just 9.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 20.3 minutes per game.
Injuries derailed what could have been an interesting run with Boston’s big three, but in the end it was not to be. O’Neal holds a $1.4 million player option for next season, but it doesn’t look like the Celtics want him back. With Doc Rivers looking to work out a multi-year deal with the team, the Celtics will probably look to add another big man and make another run at a title. O’Neal just doesn’t seem to fit in with those plans.
Knowing Shaq, he could surprise us all and latch on to another team for one more year, but at 39 years old even he knows it would probably be a bad idea. The guy has won four NBA titles, was the NBA Finals MVP three times, the league MVP in 2000, a 15-time All-Star, and made the All-NBA First Team eight times, Second Team twice and Third team four times (13 selections in all), and was the MVP of the All-Star Game three times as well. He also won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics as a member of Dream Team III.
He is also currently fifth on the all-time scoring list (28,596) and 12th in rebounds (13,099). He’s also second all-time in field goal percentage (58.2).
More than that, he has been one of the best ambassadors for the game in NBA history. His personality and public persona have made him not only a celebrity, but an icon.
He has had an amazing career in the NBA, and though it would be sad to see him depart, he has nothing left to prove.