Should Shaq Retire Already?
No one likes to see a superstar on the downside of their career. There are countless examples: the fat, Las Vegas version of Elvis Presley; Michael Jordan in a Washington Wizards jersey; Flavor Flav and Bret Michaels surrounded by reality TV pseudo-prostitutes (one exception to the rule is Clint Eastwood, who’s still kicking behind well into his 80s).
Now it looks like we might have to add Shaquille O’Neal to the list of guys who are hanging around a little too long. The Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics are rumored to have offered the 17-year pro a two-year contract, which would see Shaq playing until he’s 40.
Since bouncing from the Miami Heat to the Phoenix Suns to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was brought in to help LeBron James win a ring—a move we all know was unsuccessful—Shaq has looked more and more like your dad trying to keep up with the young kids at the gym. He’s got the crafty veteran moves which keep him somewhat in the game, but he just can’t keep up.
With every lumbering post move and blown defensive assignment, the memories of Shaq destroying opponents in the late 1990s and early 2000s become a little more faded. Which is a crying shame, as you could argue Shaq’s peak was even greater than Michael Jordan’s peak (having said that, it certainly didn’t have the longevity of Jordan’s dominance).
Is it time for Shaq to finally hang up his size 22s and join the police force? Or he could take his pick of whatever ESPN or TNT job he desires. It will be a sad day when he finally retires, but with Shaq’s combination of physical size and larger-than-life personality, you know he’ll never be far from a camera or microphone to hit us with quotes such as these…
“Phil [Jackson] took us to the finals three out of the five years and you want to fire him to bring in Mike Krzyzewski? Come on, man. That’s like being married to J.Lo, then dropping J.Lo for a girl that’s 5-10, 480.”
“Me having a beautiful wife and great family and friends around me, all the money I’ve got, all the things that I’ve got, a Ferrari that I just ripped the top off of and turned into a convertible, the rings I got, the two mansions on the water, a master’s in criminal justice, I’m a cop, plus I look good. So me shooting 40 percent at the foul line is just God’s way of saying that nobody’s perfect. If I shot 90 percent from the line, it just wouldn’t be right.”
“I’m the first graduate of LSU to graduate in crayon biology.”
“I endorse only products I actually use. Like Wheaties keeps offering me money, but I don’t eat Wheaties, so I can’t do it. Now, if Rice Krispies or Frosted Flakes offered me a deal, I’d take it right away. Apple Jacks, I’d be on the box in a heartbeat. Apple Shaqs. Yeah.”
In other NBA news some guy called LeBron James is going to choose what team he’ll play for over the next five or six years Thursday night at 9pm on ESPN.