Whether you love or hate the guy, Shaq has finally decided to call it quits after a long 19 year career. And what a career it's been. Say what you want about Shaq but at the top of his game, he was arguably the most dominant big man of his generation. Not only was he the strongest player on the court, he was also quick too; which made him a inevitable nightmare for anyone to try to stop in his prime.
Unfortunately, since his fallout with Kobe and the Lakers, he's been going a bit downhill since. Sure, he had some moderate success as he helped Dwayne Wade win a title in Miami a few years back. However, he was traded away when the two superstars had a serious disagreement over some of Shaq's work ethics. On the Suns, he was more of a determent to the team, as his slow post of up style was completely wrong for the Suns' up tempo style offense. Then when he got to Boston to try to take one last shot at a ring, he was plaqued with injuries.
What seldom people don't know is that Shaq lost about 35 pounds this season, as he desperately tried to get back into playing shape because he wanted to help Boston win another ring. Hell, he took several shots to try to get his achilles healed, and attended hours of rehab. Even those who dare question shaq's work ethic would be impressed by how much effort he put trying to get back on the court to help the Celtics, but his achiles injury was too great for him to overcome. When being told that the only solution would be surgery, and it would take about nine months to fully recover from it, Shaq decided it would be best to just say goodbye. He didn't want to hold Boston hostage again waiting for him to come back, so he decided to announce his retirement today. Here's the link for more details:
http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nba/ne … id=6615886
What are you're thoughts on this? How will you remember Shaquille O'Neal? A great player? A over rated one? A humanitarian? An all around great personality? Or what?
This is great news!.... i thought he passed away 3 years ago
One of the all time greats. Most likely in the top 20 of all time.
all around great personality, he can make me laugh, he is into charity as well and too dominant, yes during his prime.
Overall he is a good example of a good player with a good personality!
Great career. Does he go into the hall of fame as a Laker
Retiring is a good thing for him and the NBA. That's my only thoughts on the subject.
- I'll remember ShaQ for when he entered the NBA and started DOMINATING in his first season. His combination of size and agility was almost unseen prior to that. He would only get bigger. I remember him tearing down a couple of backboards. I think he was the reason the NBA added extra reinforcements to prevent basketball goals from being torn down. I also remember I was a kid at the time and had to run out to buy all the ShaQ rookie cards I could find. Too bad the card market crashed for good around that time.
- I'll remember when ShaQ and Penny teamed up and got past the Bulls in the playoffs when Jordan came back. The Magic went on to the Finals and got swept after Nick Anderson choked away a bunch of free throws at the end of game 1.
- I'll remember the move to the Lakers and how he was indefensible during the Laker Championship 3-peat of 2000-2002. There was no one or two players who could stop him. I'll remember his massive games in the NBA Finals.
- I think the Lakers traded him at precisely the right time, as he started trending downward after that.
- I think he really dragged his career averages down by sticking around so long. When people look back at his career averages, they will not realize how unstoppable and dominant this guy was for the first 10 years of his career.
- I think we'll be seeing a lot more of ShaQ. Perhaps he would join the TNT crew with EJ, Charles, and Kenny. That would be awesome. Just throwing that out there.
No argument there. I think Shaq should become a commentator on TNT, as I can definitely see his personality meshing well with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson.
I think Shaq was a great ambassador of the game for a while after Jordan retired from the Bulls for the second time, but you're right he did stay longer than he probably should've. Then again, you can pretty much say that about most legends in sports. Look at Brett Favre, he obviously should've stayed retired when he told the Packers that he was going to. Or at least retired, after he had that one great season with Minnesota. However, it's not our legacy to decide, so he stayed longer than he probably should've.
However, I'm sure Shaq's down years won't impact his legacy one bit, as people have short attention spans, and I doubt most young fans will care enough to research it anyway, since sports analysts will only talk about Shaq when he was at the top of his game anyway.
Take a look at Mahamad Ali. Nobody ever talks about the fight he had when he got beat up by Larry Holmes in the ring, after Ali was already way past his prime. No, sports commentators never even bring it up and if they do, it's rare. Same thing with other legends like Joe Montana. Nobody ever talks about his down years with the Chiefs, but you'll notice sports analysts will brag like hell about his years with the 49ers instead.
Or what about Michael Jordan? Whenever they talk about him, they only mention his years with the Bulls, yet you rarely hear about his years with the Wizards. Or if you want to go way back into sports history, nobody ever talks about Babe Ruth's years with the Braves, as he was at the down fall of his career when he joined them. However, you do hear people obsessively bring up his glory days with the Yankees though. It's funny on how history has a way of remembering certain things. The point is fifty years from now, the only thing you'll hear sports analysts and writers talk about when it comes to shaq is when he was at the top of his game and nothing more. Therefore, I doubt his down years will hurt his legacy if at all.
I entirely agree with you in what you are saying about legacies and all of your examples. What I'm getting at is this: For instance in the other thread in these forums where we are ranking the top 10 players of all-time. A lot of people just becoming familiar with the game, or those who view ShaQ 20 years from now, would probably take a look at his career averages of 23.7 pts and 10.9 rebounds and assess his career on those merits. Their's a fair number of players who have done that. What they'd be missing however is that ShaQ averaged around 27-28pts and around 12-13 rebounds per game during his first 10 years. Those numbers are SUPER-ELITE. The last 9 years of ShaQ's career watered down his stats quite a bit and make it so people in the future would have a hard time realizing how dominant this guy was.
Guys like Magic and Bird basically got out right away and had very little time where their numbers were watered down. When you look at their numbers, what you see is an accurate assessment of their careers. You could say the same for Jordan, who really only had two watered down seasons, which I would say is about standard. ShaQ had 8-9 years of decline. That's a lot.
Top 15 player and maybe top 10. Shaquille when he was young was unstoppable. Loved those Laker teams.
omg shaq would double tnt's ratings. i think shaq and sir charles would bump heads alot and it would make great tv.
I think ShaQ's retirement party/press conference today was nice. It also brought back a lot of good memories of his career. He did say he would go into the Hall of Fame as a Laker, although it is worth noting that I do not think players go into the Hall of Fame attached to a specific team in the basketball HOF.
After all of these memories of ShaQ, I have moved him up one spot on my all-time top 10 ahead of Hakeem, who I also think was outstanding:
1 - MJ
2 - Wilt
3 - Kareem
4 - Magic
5 - Kobe
6 - Bird
7 - ShaQ
8 - Hakeem
9 - Russell
10 - Duncan
the all time list thing is fun to argue but hard to list. If shaq played against wilt of kaj he would of knocked them around. There wasnt any centers like shaq when they played and the dream would of held his own against wilt and possible tooken out kareem.duncan top 10 is a stretch especially when he wasnt better then robinson
I believe he was the best center that ever played. When he was in his prime, he couldn't be stopped. Even at a later age, he still played good. He did good this year until he was hurt. He put up a few double doubles recently, including a game with 27 points and 17 boards.
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