NBA

Shaq thinks he'll play in NBA next year

Share This Story

   
 

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)

The Big Fella will have no Big Exodus.

Shaquille O'Neal believes he will be back.

The four-time NBA champion said Tuesday he will be in the league next season and would rather retire than play internationally. Although if the time has come to hang up those size 23 shoes for good, O'Neal said he will do so ''very graciously'' and ''have a big party.''

POLL

  • Where will Shaq be next season?
    • In the NBA
    • In Europe
    • In retirement

''I know I will play in the NBA next season,'' O'Neal said. ''International? No. The good thing about me and my career is I came in, did it my way, did more than expected. For every athlete or every great person, there's a time when it has to end. When and if it ever ends it will be very graciously.

''We're going to have a big party. We're going to have a ceremony and the next thing I'll be waiting for is the entrance into the place where your name will never be forgotten.''

The 38-year-old O'Neal spent last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He won three NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and another with the Miami Heat.

But he has struggled to find a contract from a team that can guarantee him playing time, enough money and a chance for one more championship to add to his legacy.

He all but ruled out joining LeBron James in Miami or a return to Orlando, where he began his career in 1992, with both teams not showing much interest. He also admitted this offseason has been particularly difficult floating around in free agency.

''For me, it's been a real thinking process,'' O'Neal said. ''I came into the league very graciously and want to go out very graciously. My main thought was I would like to play for a winning franchise, somebody that's used to winning, somebody that keeps winning. Hopefully, I'll make my decision here in the next one or two days.''

O'Neal won't be bored whenever he retires.

He was in Orlando with teen pop star Justin Bieber to promote the basketball giant's television show, ''Shaq Vs.'' The second season of the reality competition was set to begin airing Tuesday night on ABC.

O'Neal is also working on his doctoral degree, has long shown interests in law enforcement, starred in movies and television shows and even produced a rap music album.

''I have a lot to fall back on,'' O'Neal said. ''For me to be done and have done it my way, it will actually be a happy time for me because I know I have about 80 years left to live. So I'll be excited about that. But I know I will play in the league this year. If not, we'll just have a big party and I'll shut it down.

''Worst comes to worst, I'll be a doctor and do speaking engagements and talk to children and run for sheriff in this town or the next town over,'' O'Neal added. ''I have many, many options.''

Tagged: Cavaliers, Shaquille O'Neal

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..