Younger NBA fans wouldn't know it, but Shaquille O'Neal was one of the most dominant players to ever set foot on a basketball court. His stints in Phoenix, Cleveland, and Boston were far from memorable (at least as far as his play was concerned), but he always brought a boyish charm to whatever city he called home that year. Not to mention the hopes that he would bring the championships he found in Los Angeles, Miami, and almost Orlando.
And now he's retiring, and it means to us...what? He never would have played in Milwaukee, he once fought former coach Larry Krystkowiak, and the only remark he's ever (allegedly) made referencing a Buck was "Bogut is Erika Dampier with a beard." He's an NBA legend, and we're fans of a team that struggles with NBA name recognition. He has virtually nothing to do with us, whatsoever.
Bucks fans will mark his passing into retirement the same way most people mark President's Day: Yeah, it's cool, but nobody's really sure why it's a big deal anymore. NBA fans with an eye on the past, however...
NBA Vault: Shaquille O'Neal Rookie Year Highlights (via NBA)
He played with current coach Scott Skiles once upon a time, and that's enough of a connection for me to post a mini-tribute on BrewHoop. Love him or hate him, he was one of the best players in league history, brought endless entertainment to countless fans, and I for one will miss him.
I'm sure Skiles did when their days as teammates ended. How many easy assists did he get by dishing to Shaq?