Sunday , Mar , 01 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Shaquille O’Neal should stop ‘The Big Retirement’

Consider this season: the former MVP is healthy and in-shape, averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds, and, most importantly, playing with his old infectious energy. And a back-to-the-basket five-man is rare enough for Greenpeace to classify O’Neal as endangered, so a market will always exist for his services …

Shaquille O'Neal should stop 'The Big Retirement'NBA news mixed with analysis … 

Their News: "Not 732 or 733 or 734 days.  “My basketball career will be over in 735 days (July 2010)," O’Neal told News 13 television in Orlando, Fla. "And being an educated man, I’ve always had things to fall back on. So one of my options is law enforcement." (ESPN News) 

Our Very Quick Analysis: ‘The Big Retirement’ should be cancelled.

Shaquille O’Neal should abandon his July 2010 departure scheme and play until his health or performance tails off. The seven-footer is still relevant, so there is no need to cash the 501K nest egg and dance full-time with Jabbowackeez Crew.

Consider this season: the former MVP is healthy and in-shape, averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds, and, most importantly, playing with his old infectious energy. And a back-to-the-basket five-man is rare enough for Greenpeace to classify O’Neal as endangered, so a market will always exist for his services.

The latest evidence of a Shaq-renaissance came Friday. Against the Raptors, O’Neal went old school hitting 20-of-25 attempts for 45 points and 11 rebounds. He also added three steals, one block, and one dramtic crowd dive, for good measure.

(Yes, 45 points and 11 rebounds at nearly 37 years of age.) 

O’Neal, when committed, is still very capable. The retirement chatter must stop and his focus should shift to playing multiple seasons.

Should Shaq retire in 2010 or continue playing? Get at us in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe the Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of JC Anthony Dee 42.