Shaquille O'Neal, one of the greatest players in Lakers and NBA history, has decided to retire after 19 seasons in the NBA. O'Neal made the announcement Wednesday via video to his over 3.8 million followers on Twitter. The 39-year old future Hall of Famer played his final injury-plagued season with the Boston Celtics, appearing in 37 games.
O'Neal signed with the Lakers before the 1996-1997 season, the same summer general manager Jerry West traded for the draft rights to a high school kid out of Philadelphia named Kobe Bryant. By their fourth season together, and first under Phil Jackson, the Lakers won an NBA championship in 2000, the first for the franchise since 1988. The Lakers won two more titles to complete their three-peat, with O'Neal winning Finals MVP all three seasons.
In eight seasons with the Lakers, O'Neal averaged 27.0 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, and won league MVP in 2000. With O'Neal, the Lakers won 69.7% of their games, an average of 57 wins per season, made four NBA Finals, and won three rings. In his 19 seasons in the NBA, O'Neal scored 28,596 points, fifth in NBA history and grabbed 13,099 rebounds, 12th most in league history.
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