In an interview with an Orlando TV station earlier today, Shaquille O’Neal said he plans to honor the remainder of his contract and then retire from the NBA in 2010. The Suns are currently on the hook for $20 million per for each of those remaining years, so you have to wonder if they’ll ever look to move Shaq between now and when he says he’ll walk away.
Do you believe him, though? Shaq has said in the past that he would retire as soon as he couldn’t play for Phil Jackson anymore, then repeated the same mantra regarding Pat Riley. When his current deal expires the big man will be 38 years old, and as we saw last year (especially in his half-season with Miami), he’s clearly in that rapid big-man decline we’ve seen from the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing before.
With four championships, three Finals MVPs, one regular season MVP (should’ve been more) and career averages of 25 points, 11 boards and 2.4 blocks, where does Diesel rank among the greatest centers — or greatest ballplayers, period — of all-time?