So the Diesel finally retires after 19 seasons. Shaq burned a lot of bridges in those 19 years, but the first one he burned was in Orlando. But what does the community here think about 1) his time in Orlando and 2) his overall impact to the league.
I'll tell you mine. I'm from San Diego; born, raised, and still live here. I was 12 years old when Shaq was drafted and I was watching the Ahmad Rashad show, I think it was Inside Stuff, and he broke a backboard and I thought that was the coolest thing I've ever seen. I said I was going to root for the team that the guy gets drafted to.
When he left to LA, I was devastated. I've never experienced an athlete leaving "his" team; Fouts and Gwynn were life long Padres and Chargers. Although he would be closer to where I lived, he was dead to me. I have always hated the Lakers and that was the one team I couldn't stand him going too.
I got over it with Shaq as I got older. I was actually happy for him on his success in LA and in Miami, although it was bittersweet.
But he made me a Magic fan and I never stopped rooting for the team. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be a fan of this team. I appreciated all his work within different communities. I appreciated that he loved life. A great ambassador of the game.
My top 5 Shaq moments:
1) New Jersey Backboard breaking
2) No Hooks Track w/ Wu-Tang
3) Destroying Kobe
4) Phoenix basket goes down
5) Just for my memory; the one against Ahmad