Shaquille O'Neal goes out in his own style
Say whatever you want about Shaquille O'Neal, but the big center conducted his retirement announcement news conference just as you might expect. The man has been a performer from his first days in the league ... and a good one, at that.
As he opened the session at his home in Florida, he was handed a cellphone and had a faux conversation, then told the assembled group (something along the size of a presidential press corps) that the New York Knicks were calling and offering him the general manager's job. He said he'd be there Monday.
He later closed his prepared arguments with a Shaq-like comment on his future, assuring everyone they'd be seeing him for the next 19 years on TV, rattling off a series of networks before closing that he'll be ready to take calls in his office on Monday.
He finally referred to himself with another nickname in a long series of names that have helped define the person: From this point on, he is to be referred to as "The Big AARP."
The guess here is that we haven't begun to see the last of Shaq, a dominant player who wasn't without his flaws but who was a singular talent and personality.
-- Mike James
Photo: Shaquille O'Neal in 2005. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press