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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 11:00 am  |  53 responses

Shaquille O’Neal Easing Toward Career’s End


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

As Shaquille O’Neal’s legendary career winds down, he is scoring the fewest points, grabbing the least amount of rebounds, and playing the lowest minutes of his NBA life.

There was a time when this reality would’ve made Shaq lash out at everyone in the locker room, but at 38-years old, he picks his battles more carefully and realizes that there are barely any left to even bother fighting.

O’Neal says he is happy to play a minor, supporting role on the juggernaut Celtics, content to bask in the security of his legacy.

From Yahoo! come the hilarious quotes:

“I don’t worry about my legacy,” O’Neal said. “I look at it like this: There are certain guys that have legacies, and I’ve [expletive] tripled and quadrupled what the [expletive] they did, like Bill Walton. That’s how I look at it. Real talk. Everybody has a pen, so everybody’s going to say otherwise. But I know guys that got one [championship] and they got $60,000 speaking gigs off what they did 30 years ago. My legacy is straight. I don’t worry about it.

“I’ve prepared myself for [the end of his career] when I came in. For like the first 10 years my father would tell me, ‘You need to own some [stuff].’ I said, ‘Why? I make a lot of money.’ He said, ‘What if you hurt your knee or something?’ From then I’ve been in business mode. So I’ve been thinking about the day I’m done playing for a long time. And I’ll be fine. It will be real easy, real easy, real easy. Too easy.”

The day Shaquille O’Neal walks away from the game will be a very sad one. But it’s not all bad news: O’neal plans to stay in the public eye by writing a book and working on television as an analyst.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Shaq being pretty humble here.

  • http://nba.com gp23

    He will join the TNT crew with chuck, ernie….. and that other guy.

  • youngmuggsy

    I never understood the whole preserving a legacy thing. If you enjoy playing and you can make a living doing so, why would you choose to retire early?

  • Yep

    since when is Kenny “that other guy”???

  • http://www.myspace.com/freedmusic fredd

    guys where i am ( france ) very few games are aired, and i couldn’t really see full games of the Celtics … but what’s the problem, when he plays, why does he not score or rebound a lil more, i mean, with the experience and everything ……. is it real ? a young Perk is better than an old Shaq ? … damn

  • NJ4Life

    Put Shaq on NBA TV with McHale. Keep CWebb in the TNT studio with The Big 3.

  • Addam

    Shaq Mumbles. If he wants to work as a commentater he needs to work at it. Bigtime.

  • unrel

    bill walton is rolling in shaq’s grave at this point..

  • http://www.slamonline.com 9steele9

    shaq and chuck would be great half-time programming

  • andre anglais

    MMA?

  • http://nobulljive.com/ Enigmatic

    Walton had nothing but nice things to say about Shaq last night when he helped call the Celtics/Kings gams but Shaq just can’t help but sh*t on him every chance he gets. I forgot what their little beef was about long time ago.

  • http://slamonline.com SWIFTboy

    Shaq vs Hung Man Choi will make him a ton of money. Maybe even Hershal Walker if he takes it seriously. Dude is well known in the mainstream he’ll be able to do just about anything he wants.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    Shaq did accomplish a lot during his career, and he’s right, no one will be able to take that away from him. His legacy will be tarnished in some folks eyes (mine included) because of his apparent lack of a desire for excellence. He reminds me of that kid in my class that would frustrate the heck out of me because it would be clear how brilliant he was and he would do only enough to pass the class. With Shaq’s skills, he could have many more than 4 rings, and 1 MVP. He should have dominated his time in the league like Bill Russell. 11 rings would have been feasible for Shaq. Rant over.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    The most physically dominant center of all time.

  • Reflex

    Could have been the GOAT, nevertheless he’s top10 all time

  • davidddd

    This explains his movies… and rap… and TV shows…sigh

  • elmaar

    just hope shaq gets more than kobe “I got one than shaq” bryant then makes loads of fun bout that

  • chingy

    In his prime, I don’t think there was a more dominant force ever. There wasn’t any one player (other than MJ) that demanded the attention of the other team’s coaching staff in developing a game plan. And he’s always entertaining during All-Star weekends!

  • 1982

    Shaq has been great and is a HOF lock, but I could tell he was “thinking about the day” he’d be done playing for a while now.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Shots fired! lol.

  • barnabusb

    @the philosopher and chingy: Wilt would probably have disagreed.

  • vtrobot

    @ fredd: forget about perk. i would say that baby is a more valuable big body on the C’s right now. during that game last night, shaq just looked so big (not in a good way), and slow and old. i really hope the C’s win it all again, but i can’t imagine him playing again next year. the kings bigs were killing him last night. he’s had some very good games this year, but last night was def not one of them.

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    It will be a sad day to see him retire, but he’ll be great for basketball no matter what he’s doing… hopefully television as mentioned. Great personality.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    I can’t believe some of yall would look at Shaq’s career and think “what could have been???” Shaq will end his career as one of the greatest atheletes of all time, on and off the court. You look at Penny career and think “what could have been?” Not Shaq

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    All Star weekend won’t be the same without Shaq. Aside from being top 10 all time, he’s a top 3 quote-giver of all time.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    The NBA will be a lesser place when the MDE finally hangs em up.

  • Crustified-Jalepino

    Word to Seth. Arguably the Best Centre to play the game. F#(* the Waltons. Dwight Howard said he wants to be the Best of all time. He asked for it during the all star game & Shaq put the ball through his legs & dunked it. I want Miami to win it this year but if Boston take it won’t be mad. They looking strong as hell.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Shaq has never been my favorite player in the league, but his career in the NBA is impeccable. I liked him better on the Magics too, but still–top 5 centers ever, hands down.

  • http://slamonline.com Cris Jones

    Shaq as an analyst? Can you imagine? Some competition for Chuck.

  • tRay

    I wish he was still a Laker**long sigh** damn you Koooooobeeeee!!! lol

  • http://google c_cantrell

    dudes a legend.. most physically dominate big man to ever play the game as philo said

  • Coggie

    Kobe tell me how my ass tastes

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Shaq as an analyst would be Awesome! But then I realize sometimes I don’t understand what he says in interviews and that might pose as a problem LOL

  • Justin

    Cheryl, how can his legacy be tarnished? Nobody’s legacy gets tarnished because of the lsst few years of your career. I remember when MJ played for Washington and people were saying the same thing. His legacy isn’t tarnished at all, he’s still remembered as the greatest player to ever play. When people look back and remember Shaquille O’Neal, people’s first thoughts are not going to be his years with Phoenix/Cleveland/Boston. It will be the years he dominated the league with the Lakers and to a lesser extent the Magic, as it should be

  • thegfunk

    It was great how many coaches sent in complaints to the leaugue about officiating shaq in the early 2000′s. 3peat baby!

  • paul

    Dissing Walton isn’t making Shaq look good, but then again, it’s just Shaq being Shaq…

  • HAMMER

    Whenever I c how shaq is 2day,I can’t help but think of Tree Rollins,who helped mentor shaq when shaq was just a pup w/magic. Dam I feel old!

  • http://theurbangriot.com The NUPE

    I hope he realy own’s some stuff besides a lot of cars and suits. I’d hate to see him file for bankruptcy. Howver, his legacy is still in tact and he’ll be remembered as a top 10 center (arguably #1) regardless. His personality will make him fun to watch alongside Chuck, just got to make sure to have my closed captioning turned on so I can understand what he mumbles.

  • http://sdfklf.com Jukai

    Everyone’s so busy worrying about Shaq’s legacy, but here’s real talk: Could a guy with limited skills be playing in the NBA at 38? Face it, either Shaq is a mutant or his post skills and footwork are better than we all realized.
    He’s impressed me. Good for Shaq.

  • robb

    I’m gonna miss the big fella, but he’s gonna be great as a tv analyst. I can’t hope to see Shaq, Chuck, C-Webb and Ernie together (yes Ernie, I think his anti cool attitude will bring balance to the whole thing)

  • robb

    *wait

  • 80

    He is doing less, but it is mostly cuz of the game system implemented by celtics. Age too, but he is just cruising through season, hoping that there will be no injuries till playoff. No simple look at the stats can show value of any celtic player because they have many roles to fulfill. But they contribute and together are an excellent mix, and even i dont support Cs,but they are fun to watch.
    For example, i was surprised to find out that Nate is more valuable then rondo statistically, and shaq is in that first five with ray, paul and kevin, and they are leading the league. @Jukai He is skilled, compare him with HoF center DJ Mbenga, and any other center. Think he is leading the league in FG%, i remember last year he was second.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    I used to love Shaq until he burned my dude Penny and the Magic. He ignited my Laker hate. It’s been a like/dislike feel ever since. Always respected the dude though.

  • fruizm

    but we still have KAZAAM….and STEAL.

  • http://sdfklf.com Jukai

    80: I used to think Shaq was all brute strength, but gosh, he really is great with getting into position to score, and he’s got several more post moves than I thought. He uses the paint great, his form is actually rather fundamental, and he’s still able to score in the post effectively at 38. Craziness.

  • elmaar

    I really think shaq has left some beast in him just needs to get into a better shape, I remember a game last season in orlando when he had some vicious dunks on dwight and kinda shut him down when he was on the floor
    that being said I would just love to see celts and shaq win another one

  • http://masterx1983@hotmail.com marchalmadness

    dont leave the nba shaq, EVER!
    youre just too funny for that;)

  • http://www.myspace.com/freedmusic fredd

    @ VTROBOT, i donno if you’ll read that, but thank you for your answer to my message … helps to understand.

  • ErnieD

    I’m very happy that he doesn’t expect to be out there in crunch time. Perk is a better defender and Big Baby is a better scorer than Shaq. What Shaq does still do is give those guys (and Garnett) a much needed rest. When he is out there (and feeling healthy) he is good for 10-12 points and 5-6 Boards. Plus he can still block shots. As long as Perk stays healthy, Shaq is the best backup center they could possibly ask for. He is also better than any of the Pre-Perk Centers they have had after Robert Parish (Eric Montross, Vitali Potopenko, Tony Battie, Scot Pollard anybody?) with the possible exception of Al Jefferson.

  • ErnieD

    I also forgot Mikki Moore, Ala Abdelnaby, Dwayne Schintzius and the immortal Micheal Olowakandi.

  • ErnieD

    and below all of them… (snicker) Sheldon Williams.

  • Red Star

    I have never been a Shaq fan! Just a school yard bully to me. He could of had more than 4 if he learned to share the spot light earlier in his career! I can’t deny his acomplishments, he is one of the greats! There is no denying that he’ll be missed when he’s gone just not by me!

  • jozap

    he can go back to Miami Heat, Heat deperately needs a Shaq’s style of play(lowp ost, big inside).

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