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Follow Shaquille O’Neal press conference live on WEEI 06.03.11 at 12:51 pm ET
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Shaquille O’Neal, who called in to the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to discuss his past, present and future, is scheduled to hold his retirement announcement from his Orlando home Friday at 1 p.m. Listen to WEEI for live coverage of the press conference, and check out WEEI.com later for reaction from the announcement.

The press conference also will be available via video streaming at celtics.com.

O’Neal, who implied earlier this week that he’s been offered a job by ESPN, is wrapping up a stellar 19-year NBA career that included one injury-plagued season in Boston.

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Transcript of Shaquille O’Neal on D&C: ‘I didn’t want to let the people of Boston down two years in a row’ 06.03.11 at 11:06 am ET
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Shaquille O'Neal (AP)

Future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal called in to the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, the day of his scheduled press conference at his Orlando house to formally announce his retirement after one injury-plagued season with the Celtics and 19 years in the NBA.

Asked if this is a happy or sad day, O’Neal said: “A little bit of both. Business-wise, I felt that the Boston organization and the people of Boston treated me very, very well. I could have gotten a little minor surgery and then been out for nine months, but then we would have been in the same situation again, everybody sitting around waiting for me. So, I thought it was great business to let Danny [Ainge] go out and get some younger talent.”

Added O’Neal: “I didn’t want to let the people of Boston down two years in a row.”

Asked if he’s 100 percent certain that he will stay retired, Shaq coyly replied: “For now, yes.”

Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The big question is where does Shaq appear on the Mount Rushmore of big men in the NBA. Is that a question you want to deal with?

I never really deal with it. For me, coming from where I come from, how I was taught to play the game — my father used to mention all those great names to me. Like, “Son, when you block a shot, don’t show off and knock it out of bounds. Keep in inbounds, like the great Bill Russell. Son, I need you to dominate. I need them to change the rules for you like they with Wilt Chamberlain. You know what, son, the jump hook is nice. I need you to shoot the little hook like Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar].”

So, for me to have my name mentioned next to those guys — and you can’t forget Chief, Robert Parish. He was great. too. So, for me to have my name mentioned up there, it’s a blessing.

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Doc Rivers on D&C: ‘I just thought it was time to show’ loyalty 05.16.11 at 10:37 am ET
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Doc Rivers said part of the reason he re-signed with the Celtics so quickly was to quash rumors that he was headed elsewhere. (AP)

Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning, three days after agreeing to a five-year contract extension to remain with the team.

Rivers said that rumors he was contemplating whether to take a sabbatical from coaching so that he could spend more time with his family weren’t accurate — at least not this year.

“Last year, they were probably more right,” he said. “Last year I was absolutely leaning that way. This year I really never was. After last year’s summer and going through the decision that we went through, I was pretty sure I was coming back and I was pretty sure I wanted to come back here.

“This is a special place. And I’ve said that before. You can’t get a lot of these jobs where you coach teams like the Celtics, or the Red Sox, or the Yankees, and I have one of them. I work with a great GM in Danny Ainge and I have good ownership. So, why change?”

Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Doc, if you don’t mind revealing this, whose idea was it for the longterm contract? Was it you that wanted the extra years, or did Danny want to lock you up for the extra years? Whose idea was it?

Danny brought it up to me. When he first brought it up, I was surprised by it. This was a while ago that he brought it up. I think actually he brought up even more years to start.

I never thought of it in those terms. Because we kept doing these one-year or two-year deals, and I never thought of it. Danny walked in my office and said, “Listen, I want you to be here with me for a long time. And I want to make this something where we’re together for a long time.” And so he brought up the number of years.

You’ve got to process that when you commit to something for that long. We did, and we thought it was the right thing to do.

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Shaquille O’Neal reportedly resists statue at alma mater 05.11.11 at 1:17 pm ET
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Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal reportedly is resisting plans by LSU to erect a life-sized statue of the 7-footer in front of the university’s new basketball practice facility.

According to the website Sports by Brooks, Shaq has donated “multiple millions” funds to his alma mater but always requested that his name not be placed on any of the new facilities he helped fund.

The website reports that the school already has competed the statue of O’Neal dunking the ball in an effort to convince him to accept the honor. There also are plans to have three other statues, representing Pete Maravich, Bob Petit and women’s standout Seimone Augustus. O’Neal reportedly has donated the money for the Augustus statue.

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Game 5 refs: Scott Foster, Bill Spooner, Ron Garretson 05.11.11 at 9:56 am ET
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Scott Foster gets an earful from Kobe Bryant during last year's NBA finals. (AP)

The officials for Wednesday night’s Celtics-Heat Game 5 in Miami are Scott Foster, Bill Spooner and Ron Garretson.

All three will be overseeing a Celtics game for the first time this postseason. All three officiated one game of the Heat’s first-round playoff series vs. the 76ers.

Foster has recovered from his friendship with disgraced former official Tim Donaghy and has received key assignments from the NBA. He was part of the officiating crew for last year’s Game 7 of the NBA finals, which the Celtics lost to the Lakers.

Spooner is the referee who filed suit against Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski after an incident in a Jan. 24 game between the Timberwolves and Rockets. Krawczynski reported that Spooner told Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis he would “get it back” after making a bad call and then made “an even worse call on the Rockets.” Spooner sued for $75,000 and a retraction.

Garretson, the son of former longtime referee Darell Garretson, and Spooner are both Southern California natives who have officiated in the NBA for more than two decades.

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Ric Bucher on D&C: ‘Athleticism has taken over this league’ 05.11.11 at 9:09 am ET
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Ric Bucher

ESPN NBA analyst Ric Bucher made an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to talk about the Celtics-Heat series. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Asked if the Celtics will claw and scrape and do whatever they can to avoid elimination in Wednesday night’s Game 5, Bucher said that might be the case, but it still likely won’t be enough.

“I would certainly expect that [effort], knowing the character and the temperament of this team. I just don’t know that it’s going to matter,” he said. “We’ve seen one thing in this postseason, it’s that the athletes and athleticism has taken over this league. It’s just a matter of sort of pushing that big boulder downhill; it begins to gain momentum.

“The Miami Heat, whatever confidence they had playing against the Celtics overall, beating them on their home floor, beating them in last-minute execution just has to do wonders for their confidence. And if there was an Achilles’ heel that the Celtics had to take advantage of with the Heat, it was the fact that the Heat seemed to have a fragile psyche. And if you could get them doubting themselves, you could get that boulder rolling in the other direction. I just don’t see that happening at this point.

“Going home, I just feel like the Heat are going to come out hard, they’re going to play fast. I just don’t know that the Celtics at this point have the requisite physical ability to slow down that freight train.”

Added Bucher: “It’s hard for me, when I look at the width and breadth of this series, to make case for why the Celtics are going to get it to a Game 6, much less get it to a Game 7 and make a great comeback.”

Bucher said the lack of production from the Celtics’ bench players is something the team could not afford. “The big disappointment — and maybe it shouldn’t be disappointment, maybe my expectations were too great — Big Baby Davis, Jeff Green, Nenad Kristic, who didn’t even play in the last game, Delonte West — when those guys gave them something, as they did in Game 3, this was a different team,” he said. “Expecting those role players to give them something, to give them transcendent performances on the road just flies against history and tradition. … At this point, I don’t see any reason for that to change.”

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Mike Gorman on M&M: ‘I think Miami is emotionally spent’ 05.09.11 at 1:28 pm ET
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Longtime Celtics television broadcaster Mike Gorman joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday afternoon to discuss the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Heat. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Gorman said he doesn’t blame Dwyane Wade for what happened to Rajon Rondo in Saturday’s Game 3 after the two players tangled and the Celtics point guard ended up with a dislocated left elbow.

“I thought it was physical playoff basketball with a bad result,” Gorman said. “What happened to Rondo didn’t have anything to do necessarily with the way Wade hit him. It was just trying to brace his fall that he got his arm out there. It wasn’t like his arm was twisted willfully by an opposing player.”

Gorman said he was surprised by the Heat’s failure to be aggressive with Rondo after the injury.

“Maybe they were just so stunned he was on the floor,” Gorman said. “They seem hypnotized by the fact that he was playing them with one hand tied behind his back. … Not only they didn’t pressure the ball, they didn’t even force him to go left. It was like they were deferential to him. I don’t think that’s going to be the case tonight.”

Gorman said the Heat’s struggles Saturday and forward Chris Bosh acknowledging the Boston crowd affected his play might be a sign that the long season is wearing on them.

“I think Miami is emotionally spent,” Gorman said. “I think they’ve had the headlights, the spotlights, whatever you want to call it, right in their eyes right since training camp opened 6-7 months ago. And every single city they were in, they were getting booed, they were getting questioned. I think Bosh saying he was intimidated was more a sign of a guy saying that he was emotionally exhausted.

“I couldn’t believe on Saturday night, having the Celtics down 2-0 that [LeBron] James and Wade didn’t come out and just be assassins. Wade was an assassin, but James was tentative. I don’t know how else to describe it. For a guy with all the talent that he has, in a game like that to be tentative really is kind of amazing. So, I wonder about the psyche of this team.

“I also wonder — I think it’s 10 or 11 in a row now they’ve lost in Boston. They may be starting to think they can’t win here.”

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