After 19 Hall Of Fame Years in the NBA, Lakers' Legend Number 34 Shaquille O'Neal Retires

Post date: Jun 2, 2011 4:00:19 AM

He is known by many names; Superman, the Big Diesel, The Big Aristotle, Shaq, among many others. Rules in the National basketball Association were changed because of him, most notably before he set foot in the NBA players were allowed to hang on the rim after dunks; shortly after his arrival that rule was changed due to the game delays that were caused when the NBA referees were forced to stop various games that he participated in, because of a shattered bat board or a basket that he completely knocked over.

This is the impact of one Shaquille O'Neal a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer whose impact on the game and his influence on the community around him will not be soon forgotten. Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement today in a very classy and unique way, he posted a video on twitter, why? Because he wanted to make sure that his fans were the first to know about his retirement even before the media. But just the kind of person I think he is; the late Lakers' legend play-by-play broadcaster Chick Hearn would comment during Lakers' games about Shaq's sense of humor and positive attitude; who can forget Shaq-a-Clause, during the holiday season he would put on a Santa Claus costume and give to the less fortunate in the community.

He was perhaps one of the most dominant centers in NBA history, so much so, that former Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson devised the "hack-a-Shaq" which was a strategy devised in order to intentionally foul O'Neal to keep him from annihilating his opponents on the offensive end late in games. Shaq is a notoriously bad free-throw shooter, thus teams would force him to beat them with his free throws, which he progressively got better at during his career.

Shaquille O'Neal became somewhat of a journeyman he spent the first three years of his career with the Orlando Magic, spent his prime with the Los Angeles Lakers, and finished his career playing for the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they hated Boston Celtics.

However, to me, he will always be a Los Angeles Laker in the same category with all the Lakers' legends Magic Johnson, Jerry West, James Worthy, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and eventually Kobe Bryant. I sincerely hope that Shaquille O'Neal decides to retire as a Los Angeles Laker and I hope to see his number 34 hanging from the rafters at Staples Center along with Magic Johnson number 32 and James Worthy's number 42 adding one more number to the long list of untouchable legends of the Lakers' organization. One more number, that allows me to say "yes, I was there to witness the Shaquille O'Neal era in Lakers' history."

Mr. Shaquille O'Neal, thank you for being the person that you are, and thank you for the memories with the Lakers, sir.