End of the Line for Shaquille O’Neal?
Shaq spent much of what could his final season in the NBA on the bench or doing rehab from injuries, and it might just be time for him to walk away from the game for good. From the Boston Herald: “The Shaquille O’Neal chapter of Celtics history — his painful, premature decline — took another turn last night as the center sat out the Game 5 ouster against the Miami Heat, perhaps missing his last game as a Celtic and possibly in his career. The reason was the same as what limited O’Neal to three first-half minutes in Game 4 — chronic pain and stiffness in his right Achilles tendon and calf. No one wanted to say that this may be the end of a legendary 18-season career. He’s under contract with the Celtics at the $1.4 million veteran’s minimum for one more season. But some things can’t be helped. ‘I don’t know,’ [Doc] Rivers said of whether this may be the end for O’Neal. ‘It’s too early to talk about it. I’ve learned personally that you never try to make a decision in the heat of the battle. Emotionally you’re always going to make the wrong choice then. He’ll walk away for the summer and then decide what he wants to do. But this has been emotionally draining to him, more than you guys would know,’ said the Celtics coach. ‘He feels awful about this, because this is why he came here, to get to the playoffs and then play in the playoffs, and not being able to do that has really hurt him.’”