Remember when Shaquille O’Neal retired from the NBA? Er, probably not. He spent his last season in the league taking cortisone shots and trying to do whatever he could to stay out on the floor. But he ended up spending most of the 2010-11 NBA season on the Celtics bench with injuries to his knee, calf, hip, Achilles, and, well, at that point, let’s just say everything hurt. “DNP-Old” definitely would have applied.
Shaq’s string of injuries prevented him from taking part in any sort of retirement tour, and for that reason, he’s very jealous of Kobe Bryant right now. On this week’s The Big Podcast With Shaq, he admitted that he wishes he could have gone out like Kobe is going out right now.
“I’m super jealous,” he said. “I wanted a Shaq tour, man. I did. Like, I never said this, but this is killing me. It did. So you know, I had two years in Boston. I got hurt my first year, but the second year, we were going to plan a whole Shaq tour. I’m super jealous. I wanted a Shaq tour…At first, I tried to suck it up, but I can’t. It’s killing me.”
It does stink that Shaq didn’t really get to go out the way he wanted to. Outside of a really funny press conference that he held to announce that he was calling it quits, he had a pretty low-key retirement. But at the same time, he was playing with the Celtics at the end of his career, so his tour wouldn’t have been like the one Kobe is on anyway. Plus, he segued right into the next phase of his career once he stopped playing in the NBA, and you make the argument that he never really stepped out of the spotlight. So maybe he didn’t really need a retirement tour after all.
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[via For The Win]