During his retirement press conference at his home in Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal  made special mention of his time with the Celtics , especially coach Doc Rivers . O’Neal singled out Rivers and Phil Jackson  as the pro coaches who helped him the most.
“Playing for Doc Rivers this year was very, very special,” O’Neal said. “We had a lot of talent on the team but Doc Rivers always, always focused on the team. Thank you Doc.”
O’Neal said that he would have needed surgery on his Achilles in order to play again and that would have kept him out nine months. “The best solution was going in and cleaning it up with a nine-month recovery,” O’Neal said. “I thought it was good business to let Danny [Ainge] know right away so that he could get some young talent. It’s a beautiful organization. They still got a lot left.”
Shaq added, “I was really down on myself because I went up there with one mission only and I felt like I let the city down. I didn’t want that to happen again.”
O’Neal began his press conference by saying, “I never thought this day would come that father time would catch up with Shaquille O’Neal.”
He found time to make a joke at the Knicks expense after they unexpectedly let Donnie Walsh go earlier on Friday. He picked up a cell phone and said, “You want me to come up and apply for the Knick general manager job? That was the president of the Knicks. He wanted me to fly up after the press conference.”