Thoughts and Sentiments on Shaquille O’Neal’s Retirement

In 2004, the partnership ended in failure when they couldn’t bring home a championship, falling to the team orientated Detroit Pistons 4-1.

It was evident Shaq always enjoyed the finer things in life more than shooting a ball in a basket, especially during the latter years of his career when he received more attention for his endeavors than his on-court performance.

The movie roles, dancing with the Jabbawockeez and LeBron James during all-star weekend, the extremely entertaining Shaq. Vs. series and conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra all made Shaq, Shaq.

The same reasons Kobe couldn’t stand playing with Shaq are also the ones fans from all walks continued to embraced the Big Fella despite his undeniable decline.

As Kobe himself says in an old Nike commercial: “love me or hate me, it’s one or the other. I’m hated and I’m loved for the exact same reasons.”

Sure, after leaving Miami, Shaq’s penchant for ring chasing has diminished his legacy to a degree. But upon arriving at a new team, he always brought a sense of optimism and a new nickname that suited the theme of his team (the Big Cactus, the Big Shamrock, etc.).

As the best player on the team that made me fall in love with the game of basketball and the Lakers, I want to say thank you Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal for 19 unforgettable years.

Four championships, three finals MVP’s and 28,000 points, the Diesel has finally run out of fuel. It’s time to say goodbye to the big man for good.

It’s fitting that it was announced his #34 jersey will be enshrined in the Lakers’ rafters for eternity.

Now that’s something we can all dig.

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