Shaquille O’Neal, winner of four NBA championships and regarded as one of the greatest centres ever, announced on Wednesday that he is retiring from the game.
O’Neal posted on Twitter, “im retiring,” and included a link to a video.
“We did it. Nineteen years, baby. I wanna thank you very much,” O’Neal said in the video to fans. “That’s why I’m telling you first — I’m about to retire. Love ya. Talk to you soon.” The sports channel ESPN reported O’Neal, 39, will make his retirement official during a press conference on Friday.
O’Neal’s career in the National Basketball Association began with the Orlando Magic in 1992 and spanned six teams. He was in the middle of a two-year contract with the Boston Celtics, but injuries minimized his playing time.
O’Neal’s most successful years came with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he paired up with Kobe Bryant to win three championships. But tension between the two all-stars prompted the Lakers to trade O’Neal to the Miami Heat in 2004. He won his fourth championship with that team in 2006.
The towering O’Neal played in 15 all-star games, and won the most valuable player award during the 1999-2000 season. He scored 28,596 points during his career, collected 13,099 rebounds and had 3,026 assists.