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Shaquille O'Neal goes out in his own style

June 3, 2011 | 10:46 am

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.


Heisler: Shaq the entertainer

Plaschke: Shaq's career one of 'what if?'

Caught on the Web: More on Shaq's legacy

-- Mike James

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal in 2005. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press