View Full Version : Shaq preparing for the end

02-02-2011, 04:15 AM
An interesting read on Yahoosports, thought some of you may like to read

Shaquille O’Neal’s(notes) totaled 10 points in his past four games, and that includes the goose egg he dropped against his old Los Angeles Lakers in the building he helped make famous. Shaq still fills a room, if not also the lane, and his megawatt personality hasn’t dimmed a bit, but he’s a role player now. He’ll likely be headed to the bench soon, and he’s OK with that, too. Thirty-eight years old and still chasing championships in the twilight of his career with the Boston Celtics – life could be worse.

“It’s hard not being in charge for me. It really is. But I got to accept it,” O’Neal said. “This is a good team. I’m not the only Hall-of-Famer hopeful here.

“If I was on a [expletive] team, I’d be pissed right now. Two points? I would have [expletive] somebody up in the locker room.”

O’Neal cemented his legacy as one of the NBA’s greatest players by averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in his first 13 seasons and winning four championships. With the possible exception of Wilt Chamberlain, the league had never dealt with a player so physically dominating. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Chamberlain have scored more points in NBA history than Shaq, and he’s had a personality to match, nicknaming himself “The Big Aristotle,” “Superman,” “The Diesel” and “Shaq Fu” among other things.

O’Neal’s transformation from superstar to co-star to role player began when the Lakers traded him to the Miami Heat after the 2003-04 season.

“I started waning my CEO skills in Miami when I let Flash take over,” O’Neal said of Dwyane Wade(notes). “Then with LeBron [James] in Cleveland, I just laid back. In this world that we live in everyone wants the younger guys, the younger guys. So when I had my time, my span, I did it my way. I did it dominant. Nobody has done it more flamboyantly.

“And now, you know, it’s someone else’s turn.”

O’Neal doesn’t clear out defenders or dunk as much as he used to. After averaging a career-low 12 points last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he has dipped to 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds. He went scoreless in Boston’s win over the Lakers this week, which prompted his old coach, Phil Jackson, to joke that O’Neal was the only Celtic that L.A. could defend.

“Whatever they do to get me my shots, I’ll shoot at a high clip,” said O’Neal, who is averaging 5.5 shots per game. “But it’s not something I worry about. It’s all about winning, baby. Stats don’t matter. None of that [expletive] matters to me. I’ve been there and done that.

“I’m right behind my father, Wilt Chamberlain. I’m cool with points. I’m good. If I pass him up, I do. If I don’t, I’m cool.”

O’Neal has missed 12 games because of hip, calf and knee injuries, but has helped the Celtics with his presence when he’s been on the floor – particularly with Kendrick Perkins(notes) and Jermaine O’Neal(notes) missing much of the season’s first half with their own injuries. “Shaq is Shaq,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s going to give us a lift on some nights. Some nights he may not. …It doesn’t look like he does a lot for us, but he does.”

O’Neal has started each of the 35 games he has played for the Celtics this season and has come off the bench just nine times in 1,205 career games. The last time the 19-year veteran was used as a reserve was a single game for the Miami Heat during the 2006-07 season. Perkins recently returned from knee surgery, and it’s inevitable he’ll eventually return to the starting lineup because of the continuity he has with the rest of the Celtics’ starters. Once Rivers is ready to make the change, O’Neal says he’ll have no problem moving to the bench.

Allen Iverson(notes) could never make that transition. When no NBA team offered him a job this season, he signed to play in Turkey before a recent injury.

“You can’t beat the system. You have to join it,” Shaq said. “Even if I could, it wouldn’t be business-ly advantageous to act like that. So no, the system is always right. So whatever the system says you do, you just do it.

“I just enjoy still traveling, going to cities and having a good time. If Perk’s going to be in the starting lineup and I’m coming off the bench that’s fine with me.”

Jackson has said he could see O’Neal playing until he’s 40, and O’Neal plans to at least stay with the Celtics through the end of his contract next season, provided the season isn’t completely erased by a lockout. After that, the pitchman, actor and part-time law enforcement officer plans to go back to school, write a book and work as a TV analyst.

“I don’t worry about my legacy,” O’Neal said. “I look at it like this: There are certain guys that have legacies, and I’ve [expletive] tripled and quadrupled what the [expletive] they did, like Bill Walton. That’s how I look at it. Real talk. Everybody has a pen, so everybody’s going to say otherwise. But I know guys that got one [championship] and they got $60,000 speaking gigs off what they did 30 years ago. My legacy is straight. I don’t worry about it.

“I’ve prepared myself for [the end of his career] when I came in. For like the first 10 years my father would tell me, ‘You need to own some [stuff].’ I said, ‘Why? I make a lot of money.’ He said, ‘What if you hurt your knee or something?’ From then I’ve been in business mode. So I’ve been thinking about the day I’m done playing for a long time. And I’ll be fine.

“It will be real easy, real easy, real easy. Too easy.”


It honestly depress the **** out of me coz I've been a loyal fan of Shaq since I was a kid, and made me fall in love with the game. Love him or hate him, and even though he isn't half of what he used to be, it'll be a dark day when the Diesel calls it quits

02-02-2011, 04:19 AM
leagues going to be a little bit boring without him

02-02-2011, 04:31 AM
dam if he is gonna be gone anytime soon then that would be wierd seeing games and he aint on any team.
he will end up being a coach or somthing..hahaha

02-02-2011, 04:44 AM
Great read. Shaq deserves a lot of credit and respect for being a great team-mate and roll model with the Celtics. I think he's adjusted and aged as gracefully as he could the past few years.

It's easy to forget how dominant he was, damn.

02-02-2011, 04:55 AM
As a die hard Lakers fan, I can legitimately say that I love Shaq as a player. The first game I ever saw, Lakers at Utah in the fall of '99. I was amazed by the huge dude in purple who was twice as big as anybody else and was dunking on everybody. Kobe was hurt and wasn't playing, so Shaq was the reason I became a Laker fan. It took me a LONG time to get over his departure, and I still long for the days when Kobe would loft the ball in the air and big ol' number 34 would slam it down. There really wasn't a better two-man punch than them. I hope Shaq finds a way to stay relevant in the league after he retires. We need his personality. I remember busting up at the '09 All-Star game when he was dancing around with the Jabbawockeez. Theres no other player in the game quite like him

02-02-2011, 04:56 AM
hahaha, that also depressed me, especially when I saw "And now, you know, it’s someone else’s turn." i just read, I'm going to retire soon and walk away from the game. He's been such a dominating force and he destroyed my Sixers in the finals that one year and I haven't lost respect for him since. Basically every team he's been on they've won or been considered to win it all. Up until now, he's been very entertaining off and on the court. It's like, I can see Dwight being the next Shaquille O'Neal in regards to humor and entertainment (dunks and stuff) but I just don't see Dwight being the type of guy that shares a spotlight with a superstar the way Shaq did it with Kobe, Dwayne and LeBron. Anyways, Shaq is the man, and there's no denying he's a first ballot HOF'er.

02-02-2011, 05:01 AM
This is most likely his last year in the NBA, I cant see him playing another full season next year, its a shame he should have retired with the Lakers :(

02-02-2011, 05:25 AM
the article was a bit of a downer, and it will be a sad day when he retires..just weird too.

02-02-2011, 07:14 AM
Good read. The best part is when he said,"....But I know guys that got one [championship] and they got $60,000 speaking gigs off what they did 30 years ago. My legacy is straight....."

That's wassup.

John Walls Era
02-02-2011, 07:30 AM
Nice shot at Bill Walton. Looks like hes still upset about what Bill said about him 3 years ago.

02-02-2011, 07:55 AM
i don;t like on how he changes teams every season

02-02-2011, 08:59 AM
Shaq is the man...i think his personality will be missed even more than his game

02-02-2011, 03:23 PM
This is most likely his last year in the NBA, I cant see him playing another full season next year, its a shame he should have retired with the Lakers :(


02-02-2011, 03:33 PM
What an ominous and melodramatic thread title. You make him sound like a Viking who's lighting his funeral pyre and getting ready to go to Valhalla

02-02-2011, 03:40 PM
What an ominous and melodramatic thread title. You make him sound like a Viking who's lighting his funeral pyre and getting ready to go to Valhalla

You mean Shaqhalla. :)

02-02-2011, 03:44 PM
It really sounds like this is his last year. Man the league will miss this guy.

02-02-2011, 03:51 PM
He's been great in BOS. He's embraced his role and played it well. And he's done a lot of fun stuff in the community as well - directing the orchestra, posing as a statue in the park, etc. He's really embraced this "farwell tour" type of season.