The Boston Celtics signed O’Neal to a two-year contract in August 2010. Injuries interrupted much of his season, but the Celtics traded center Kendrick Perkins in anticipation of O’Neal’s return to the lineup. O’Neal returned on April 3 after missing 27 games, but he played only one more regular-season game. He was an afterthought in the playoffs as the Celtics were eliminated by the Miami Heat.
See you later
After 19 NBA seasons, four championships, two scoring titles and innumerable nicknames, Shaquille O'Neal called it quits in June. We look back at his colorful career.
In three seasons at LSU under coach Dale Brown, O’Neal was a two-time All-American and two-time SEC player of the year. Among Shaq's accolades in 1991: the Associated Press and UPI player of the year awards and the Adolph Rupp Trophy as the NCAA men's basketball player of the year.
O’Neal declared for the NBA draft after his junior season, but he returned to school in 2000 and received a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. Last month, LSU officials announced that a life-size bronze statue of O'Neal dunking will be placed at the entrance to the school’s new basketball practice facility.
Top draft choice
From a crop of candidates top-heavy with big men, the Orlando Magic selected O’Neal with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. The next two players chosen were center Alonzo Mourning, by the Charlotte Hornets, and forward Christian Laettner, by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rookie of the Year
O’Neal lived up to his billing coming out of college, becoming the first rookie to be voted an All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1985 and being named rookie of the year. He averaged 23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks a game.
First Finals trip
It took three seasons for the O’Neal-led Magic to reach the NBA Finals, where they were swept by Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. During the regular season O’Neal won his first scoring title, averaging 29.3 points.
A new Laker
After four seasons in Orlando, O’Neal took his free-agent talents to the Los Angeles Lakers, signing a seven-year, $121 million contract in 1996.
In O’Neal’s first three seasons in LA, the Lakers made the playoffs but were ousted by the Utah Jazz in 1997 and ’98, and the San Antonio Spurs in '99. But in 2000, with new coach Phil Jackson and emerging superstar guard Kobe Bryant, the Lakers broke through. With O’Neal winning the regular-season MVP award (coming within one vote of a unanimous selection), Los Angeles went on to win the first of three consecutive titles. O’Neal (pictured with Lakers owner Jerry Buss) was named Finals MVP all three times.
O'Neal collided with Danny Ferry of the San Antonio Spurs during Game 2 of the 2001 Western Conference Finals.
Sharing championships with Kobe
O’Neal (pictured with Kobe Bryant) averaged better than 36 points and 12 rebounds in the 2002 NBA Finals as the Lakers swept the New Jersey Nets.
The Big (Law) Enforcer
O’Neal has long had an interest in law enforcement. He went through the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Reserve Academy and became a reserve officer with the Los Angeles Port Police, and trained and was sworn in as a Miami Beach reserve officer. In the latter role he once helped make an arrest.
Larger than life
O’Neal had a reality series, “Shaquille,” on ESPN, and hosted another one called “Shaq’s Big Challenge” on ABC. He had another ABC show called “Shaq Vs.” in which he competed against other athletes in their sports.
Rapping it up
O’Neal tried his hand at being a rapper, putting out five albums and one compilation. His 1993 debut album, “Shaq Diesel,” went platinum.
O’Neal already has appeared in several TV and movie projects, and the big guy seems like a natural to kick butt on the big screen. Shaq as the new Superman? How 'bout "Kazaam 2?"
Taking his talents to South Beach
His relationship with Kobe Bryant having soured, O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat for Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and a future first-round draft choice in July 2004. Two seasons later he teamed with guard Dwyane Wade to lead Miami to an NBA title, defeating the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the Finals.
With injuries and diminishing skills taking their toll, O’Neal was traded by the Miami heat to the Phoenix Suns in February 2008. With him, the Suns made the playoffs in 2008 but were eliminated in the first round by San Antonio. The following season he experienced a renaissance, being named co-MVP of the All-Star Game (with, of all people, Bryant).
O'Neal poses for portraits after the Phoenix Suns held a press conference about his acquisition on Feb. 7, 2008.
Who was that masked man?
O'Neal performed with the JabbaWockeez during the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix.
United with LeBron
After being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers after the 2008-09 season, O’Neal vowed to “win a ring for the King.” But despite earning the top seed for the playoffs, the LeBron James-led Cavaliers were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the Boston Celtics.
World's biggest jockey
Everyone knows Shaq can bring home a winner. But is there a horse big enough to hold him? Count on Shaq showing up for the big race if they rename it the Belmont Steaks.
The Big Bernstein
O'Neal served as guest conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra during a 2010 holiday concert at Symphony Hall in Boston.
O'Neal showed Danny Ferry the picture of their 2001 playoff collision when the center was introduced as a new Cleveland Cavalier in 2009. Ferry had gone on to become the Cavs GM.
Hey, down in front
O'Neal tells Terrell Owens that he's blocking his view during NBA All-Star Saturday night in February.