Thursday, June 2, 2011

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade reflect on Shaquille O'Neal

MIAMI — A day after Shaquille O’Neal managed to upstage the NBA Finals with a 15-second announcement on Twitter that he planned to retire from the NBA, former teammates Dwyane Wade and LeBron James reflected on his legendary, certain Hall of Fame career of punishing rims and providing punchlines.

O’Neal had already won three NBA championships, starred in a couple of lousy movies and released a platinum-selling rap album before arriving in Miami after a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2004. He and Wade won a championship two years later over the Dallas Mavericks.

“We had some great years together, so [I’m] humbled and totally honored to have been a teammate. I had the opportunity to play with one of the greats. I really learned a lot from him as a professional,” Wade said. “But as a fan, to see the dominance of what he did will never be forgotten. What he did off the court, always fun loving. Obviously, this won’t be the last time we see Shaq, but overall it was a great career as a person and a player.”

O’Neal’s time in Miami ended on a sour note, as he was traded to Phoenix during a 15-win season, and more than a year later, the Suns dealt him to Cleveland. His career ended in Boston, where he had an injury-plagued season and returned to face the Heat in the second round of this year’s playoffs. He appeared in two games, hobbling on the floor, before James and Wade ended the Celtics’ season — and O’Neal’s career.

“First of all, you give respect where respect is due. His 19 years in this league goes unprecedented, what he was able to do for this league, not only on the court, but...continue:

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