Shaquille O’Neal, the 15-time all-star, retires after 19 seasons in the NBA. Shaq’s amazing athletic achievements fight for attention with his larger than life personality. Today’s official announcement truly marks the end of an era. I was 10 or 11 when he got drafted (first overall) by the Magic. I don’t remember basketball without Shaq. I grew up and became a fan of the sport with him the backdrop of every nightly sports show. I still remember that episode of MTV’s Cribs and how it must be like living in the land of big things, to accommodate this 7’+ giant of a person. And Shaq’s final wish…that people see him as a normal person—that they’ll see him in the Wal-Mart and say that he’s a “normal guy”. Shaq, take it as a compliment…but even long after you leave the court, you’ll find a way to manage to be something extraordinary.