In an appearance on “Fair Game” with Kristine Leahy, ex-NBA big man Shaquille O’Neal, who last played for the Boston Celtics in the 2010-11 season, talked on his decision to retire a year earlier:
“In my mind, I’m like I’m used to parades and banners and making people complain to the refs and making people say ‘Oh we playin’ against Shaq? I don’t want to play tonight.’ That’s what I want to be remembered as. And growing up in that military family, my father says you always gotta look a man or a woman in the face and be honest. And I felt like I was robbing them. I didn’t feel right.
(Coach Doc Rivers) told me when I came in ‘We’re not going to need you to do much. Just rebound.’ And I accepted and said O.K. I just wanted to try to …. I was ring chasing. I’m being honest. Yeah, I was ring chasing. I was ring chasing, I really was. But I wanted to help because Paul (Pierce) was one of my favorite players and I love Kevin (Garnett),” O’Neal said, per Fadeaway World.
O’Neal averaged 9.2 points along with 4.8 boards per game for the Celtics.