<
>

Times-Picayune: Q&A with Shaq

Following up on their article from his charity golf tournament Saturday, the Times-Picayune of New Orleans posted a lengthy Q&A with Shaquille O'Neal Sunday. Here's the good stuff:

Will you retire after your two-year contract ends with the Boston Celtics?

It’s going to be my last two years. I look at a lot of retired players, and when they shut it down they want to come back. But I’ve been in it for 18 years now, and I’ve had a great, illustrious career.

...

What do you want your legacy to be?

I never had an inconsistent year, and I’ve always been dominant. I’m the No. 5 all-time scorer — 2,000 points behind Wilt Chamberlain. Once I pass him up, I want the title as the most dominant to ever play the game. When I’m done, it would be nice to say that I passed up Chamberlain, earned five rings, and finished in the (top) 10 all-time in blocks and rebounds. Hopefully all of that will put me on the first ballot for the Hall of Fame.

...

As a free agent this summer, what were all the factors you considered before deciding to sign with the Celtics?

Atlanta was cool, but they don’t have a lot of national television games. But Boston, with Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, I said we can do it. A lot of people said I only got the league minimum salary, but that’s all right. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I’ve had four max contracts in one lifetime, I don’t care about that little million. Did I want $10 million? I’m always going to put the number high. I could have gotten $8 million from Atlanta and Detroit, but it wasn’t about that. It was about being somewhere and being seen and winning.

...

Are you surprised that you have played for four different franchises since 2008?

No, but I made the comments in Boston that when I was the CEO, things would have to go my way. The one thing I don’t tolerate is BS. You cannot BS me and I’m not a boy. I’ve been here a long time, and I understand the business. You always have to look at a bigger part of it. Like in Phoenix, the guy (Suns owner Robert Sarver) was out of money, and I’m the big salary. So what do you do? You get rid of the big salary. It wasn’t because he didn’t like me. It was the same thing in Miami, me and Pat (Riley) didn’t get along, so what do you do? But nothing goes down without my OK. Like when I was in L.A., I said I’ll go, but I’m going to Miami. They were saying we want to send you to Utah, and I said, ’Guess what, I’m not doing it.’ I told them they would have to settle out and write me a check, and then I’ll go, but they said ’all right, we’ll send you to Miami.’ In Miami, I told them I want to go to Phoenix.

Click HERE to read the full Q&A.

(h/t: Red's Army)