Shaquille O’Neal announced through his Twitter account that he will retire from the NBA after 19 seasons. The gregarious big man became a basketball legend on the court and a pop icon off the court. In honor of O’Neal’s career, rolling out sports compiled five of his most unforgettable moments. –amir shaw
Breaking Backboards – O’Neal was the most dominant player of his generation. During his prime, no center could check him one-on-one, and the rim and backboard didn’t fare too well either. O’Neal dismantled the entire goal after dunking during a game against the New Jersey Nets in 1993. He also broke a goal against the Phoenix Suns several months later.
Shaq Leaves Orlando for L.A. – O’Neal and Penny Hardaway were supposed to be a new version of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson. Although the duo led the Orlando Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals, the city of Orlando couldn’t support O’Neal’s humongous personality. He left in 1996 and went Hollywood by signing with the Lakers.
Beef With Kobe Bryant – O’Neal and Kobe Bryant could have been the greatest duo in NBA history if they had actually liked each other. The two managed to win three titles together, but they could have won 10 if they had put their differences aside to reach a common goal. Instead, the duo often disagreed while playing together and hated each other even more once O’Neal left L.A.
Rap Star – O’Neal was not a hip-hop gimmick. There aren’t too many full-time rappers who can garner respect from The Notorious B.I.G., Method Man and Nas. Shaq Fu could be corny, at times, when rapping, but he had enough skills to hold his own while rapping with hip-hop elites.
Miami Nice – O’Neal made stops in Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston, but his last hurrah occurred in 2005 when he teamed up with Dwyane Wade to lead the Miami Heat to a championship. While playing with the Heat, O’Neal was also known for throwing memorable parties on South Beach.