Shaquille O'Neal Retires
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
An extraordinary NBA career came to an end today.
Mr. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL (Basketball player): I never thought this day would come. And Father Time has finally caught up with Shaquille O'Neal. After 19 years, I'm announcing my retirement from professional basketball. It is now time for me to begin my new life.
NORRIS: Shaquille O'Neal made his retirement from basketball official this afternoon.
ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
The 15 time All-Star was one of the best centers to ever play the game. The seven-foot-one O'Neal had tremendous strength. His thunderous dunks could break baskets and backboards.
NORRIS: But he also had great athletic ability to go with that size and strength. At his peak, the only way to stop him from scoring was to foul him -something known around the NBA as Hack a Shaq.
SIEGEL: Shaq was just one of his many often self-invented nicknames. He also went by The Diesel, The Big Aristotle, Shaq Fu, Superman.
NORRIS: There was also Big Daddy, Shaqovic, The Big Shaqtus.
SIEGEL: And Wilt Chamberneezy, The Big Baryshnikov and The Big Shamrock, just to name a few.
NORRIS: From the time he joined the NBA, O'Neal wanted to be a multi-media star. He was as an actor; the variety of television and film appearances including one as a free styling genie.
(Soundbite of movie, "Kazaam")
Mr. O'NEAL: (as Kazaam): Hang on, I'm contagious, outrageous, spontaneous, you can't contain this. I am Kazaam.
SIEGEL: And he was also a rapper with four albums to his credit.
(Soundbite of song, "What's Up, Doc, Can We Rock?")
Mr. O'NEAL: (Rapping) I'm the Hooper, the hyper, protected by Viper. When I'm out the hoop yo, you'd better decipher in other words you'd better make a funny decision, cause I'm a be a Shaq knife and cut you with precision.
NORRIS: He also one of the first athletes to embrace social media. O'Neal has almost four million followers on Twitter and counting. The four-time NBA champion is done playing basketball, but it's safe to say we haven't heard the last yet from Shaquille O'Neal.
(Soundbite of song, What's Up, Doc, Can We Rock?)
Mr. O'NEAL: (Rapping) And make sure it's broke. What's up, Doc? Can we rock? What's up, Doc? Can we rock? What's up, Doc? Can we rock? What's up, Doc?
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