Shaq was one of a kind

  • Updated: June 2, 2011 - 7:13 AM

Shaquille O'Neal retired Wednesday, but he will never be forgotten because of his outsized game and even more outsized personality.

NBA great Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement via a tweet Wednesday.

Photo: Susan Ragan, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Shaquille O'Neal kind of, sort of officially retired Wednesday -- doing it as only Shaq would, via a new social media tool called Tout.

O'Neal put up crazy statistics and left an indelible mark on the game of basketball -- for better and for worse. In honor of the big fella, here are five things we will remember the most about him:

1. The sheer dominance, because of his incredible size and strength, at his peak: A healthy Shaq in his prime was a sight to behold. Listed at 7-1 and tipping the scales at 300-plus pounds, he was virtually unguardable even by men who would be giants to almost anyone else. The basketball looked like a grape in his hands. It just wasn't fair.

2. The awful, awful free throw shooting: O'Neal retired with a 52.7 percent career free-throw percentage and a 58.2 percent career field-goal percentage. He has 28,596 career points, good for fifth all-time. That number would be way higher if he hadn't missed more than 5,000(!) career free throws. Former Gopher Trevor Winter played exactly one career NBA game -- committing five fouls in five minutes for the Wolves vs. the Lakers in the ultimate Hack-a-Shaq effort on March 16, 1999.

3. The bitter break-up with Kobe: Shaq and Kobe Bryant won three consecutive NBA titles together with the Lakers, but O'Neal went to Miami in 2004 after a power struggle between the two Alpha Dogs resulted in a "he goes or I go" situation. Years later, Shaq famously rapped about Kobe and the Lakers losing to the Celtics in the 2008 finals -- including a line about O'Neal and the flavor of his hind quarters relative to Bryant. Kobe, though, got the last laugh: He won two titles without Shaq, while O'Neal only won one without Kobe (2006 Heat).

4 Marketing genius: Shaq might have been an awful actor and a terrible rapper, but he was -- and remains -- a savvy businessman and a shrewd evaluator of which way the wind is blowing. He was a transcendent superstar, always ahead of his time when it came to "getting" fans. One can only wonder what would have happened if Shaq was at his playing peak when Twitter came to prominence.

5 Held on too long: The end was painful to watch. Shaq's massive body caught up to him fast, and his role on would-be contenders (Cleveland in 2009-10, Boston in 2010-11) became that of a sideshow. We'll still remember Shaq for his incredible prime, but his Golden Years are hard to shake right now.

MICHAEL RAND

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - J. Lester 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
New England 14 FINAL
Kansas City 41
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Carolina 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Dallas
Colorado 8:00 PM
Calgary
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close