After 19 seasons in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal made it clear what his future plans were when discussing post-retirement by opening the press conference that was held earlier today by saying he will be “flying out to New York to meet the Knicks’ President and try out for the General Manager job”.
Kidding aside, O’Neal had his last fun with the media as a player in the NBA and formally announced his retirement from the game of basketball.
“After 19 years, I’m announcing my retirement from professional basketball,” O’Neal said. “It is now the time to begin my new life.”
O’Neal, who averaged 23.7 points per game, 10.9 rebounds per game, and making baskets on a .582 clip in his career, exits the game of basketball by thanking his family, friends, and fans and especially “the free throws” (to the amusement of the media).
Some of the highlights among the people he thanked were a couple of head coaches he played under for.
“I would like to thank the coaches who helped me to grow as a player and as a person, Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers,” announced O’Neal. O’Neal played under Jackson for four years when Jackson was hired as the Lakers head coach in 2000.
“Phil Jackson was the person who really helped me focus and concentrate on a championship level,” O’Neal said.
Lastly, O’Neal again said his farewell to the media and mentioned several reporters who have interviewed O’Neal for much of his career. He also announced his retirement from all his unique nicknames such as “The Big Aristotle, Shaqfu, The Big Shamrock, The Big Cactus, The Diesel, and Superman.”
Though O’Neal may be away from television as a basketball player, he hinted on beginning his new career on network television.
“I do plan on entertaining you [media] for the next 19 years,” O’Neal continued. “Whether it’s on TNT, ESPN, CNN… Give me a call, my office will be open on Monday.”