In a surprise move yesterday, NBA all star and 4 time Champion, Shaquille O’Neal announced his retirement from basketball, and his commencement of figure skating. “I’ve been planning this move for a while now,” a spandex-clad Shaq told reporters while gliding on ice. “I still plan to keep up with my daily workout schedule, only instead of practicing spin moves to the basket, I’ll be twirling.”

At 7’1, 345 lbs, Shaquille O’Neal will be the biggest ice skater in the history of the sport. “I know how to use size to my advantage. In basketball, no points are awarded for breaking the backboard. In fact, they stop the game for like an hour. But in figure skating, I’ve got my signature finishing move. I pump my knees up and down like I’m on hydraulics, jump three feet in the air, come down and break through the ice. Talk about an exit.”

But Shaq’s size also presents obstacles. “He kept crashing into the ice skating rink’s walls because he couldn’t slow down in time,” ice skating rink owner Bernie Makovitch said, “So we fastened him with a parachute.” “It actually look good,” Shaq commented on the new appendage. “They told me it’s my cape.”

Since making the transition, Shaq has been meticulously planning his routine. “Music’s important. It sets the tone and keeps you in rhythym. That’s why I’ll be skating to my latest rap album, Shaq Fu: Da return.” In addition to changing the style of music, O’Neal’s moves will be just as original. “I ain’t flexible like some of these other skaters, so I gotta play to my strengths. I’m gonna dribble a basketball.”

Other athletes have not taken kindly to the presence of the superstar. “Uh, first off,” former Olympic ice skater, Scott Hamilton, said while waiving his finger angrily in a circle, “he’s not even gay. Secondly, you can’t use a prop. That’s what couples skating is for.” NBA legend and former teammate, Kobe Bryant, gave reporters his two cents. “If Michael Jordan couldn’t make the transition into baseball, how does Shaq think he’s gonna succeed at ice skating? Sorry, but the man’s sports career is over.” O’Neal had strong words for his doubters, “The toast ain’t toasted till the toaster goes bing.”

Since the announcement, Shaquille’s spirits have been lifted. “I think this is what he was meant to do.” Mrs. O’Neal commented while in a rocking chair on her front porch. “I’ve never seen him so excited before.” Shaquille confirmed his mom’s observation. “I’m having so much fun right now preparing for this. I was up all last night putting rhinestones on my new uniform. Best part is, I don’t have to shoot free throws.”


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