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Celtics’ Ainge thinks Shaq will retire

May 13, 2011, 3:24 PM EST

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

The ball is in Shaquille O’Neal’s court.

But Celtics head man Danny Ainge told CSN New England he believes Shaq has played his last game.

“I think so,” the Celtics’ director of basketball operations replied when asked if he thought Shaq had played his last game in the NBA. “It’s early to make those emotional decisions, but my guess is he has.”

Shaq has a player option for next season for $1.4 million.

He has said in the past he wanted to play one more season, to play when he was 40, and he wants another shot at a ring, what would be his fifth.

But this season he played just 12 minutes after the end of January as a lingering Achilles and calf injury would just not heal. He had battled a number of heath issues in recent seasons as the toll of a long NBA career started to wear on him.

If he does step away, it has been a glorious career.

  1. zackd2 - May 13, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Believe the title should be “Ainge HOPES Shaq qill retire”

    • patsandsox - May 13, 2011 at 5:27 PM

      if the achilles would allow him to play as he did in the first half of the season I think everyone would want the big man back. From what little I know of achilles injuries I believe it is probably not going to get better without surgery which would then pretty much finish his carrer anyhow

      • zackd2 - May 14, 2011 at 9:21 AM

        Even if it healed, he’d miss another 40 games with another “day-to-day, back this weekend” injury. Dude’s 40 and 350+, he’s not going to stay healthy.

  2. goforthanddie - May 13, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Shaq’s played his last game. Retiring is a different matter.

  3. zrbk - May 13, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    I can’t stop imagining how the Celtics would still be competing with the Heat if Shaq was able to move around like he did in October and November. It’s sad that his career has to end like this. Best luck.

  4. dwighthowardisamazing - May 14, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    it’s time shaq…it’s time.

  5. therookie773 - May 14, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    I’m gonna miss the players from 1996…whether or not you like these people is a different matter but in a few years all these guys might be done or done already: shaq, Allen iverson (overseas don’t count), Tim Duncan, Ray Allen, kg, tmac, Vince Carter, Kobe (maybe in 5 more years at max) Dirk, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash etc etc

  6. Fred - May 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    I wonder if he regrets some of those years he compromised by playing himself into shape during the season and healing on “company time.” As great as Shaq was, he could have been better for a longer period of time if he had worked harder when the cameras weren’t rolling.

  7. andrejohnsonforpresident - May 14, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    I already said what I wanted to say about shaq Retirring in this article http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/11/shaq-may-never-play-in-the-nba-again-and-thats-sad/ (BTW I posted another comment that they put up lately with some good utube footage of shaqs funniest quotes and best playoff highlights)Very sad to see him go..

    I bet shaq is the first person in line to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean.

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