Shaquille O'Neal, one of the most recognisable players in professional basketball, announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending a career that spanned 19 seasons. Highlights of his career:
* 1972: Born in New Jersey.
* 1992: Selected as the number one pick by the Orlando Magic in the NBA draft.
* 1993: Named rookie of the year by scoring at an average of 23.4 points per game.
* 1995: Won the NBA scoring title at an average of 29.3 points per game and making 58.3 percent of his field goal attempts.
* 1996: Joined the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won three successive NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Was finals MVP in each title run.
* 2000: Named the NBA's MVP and won the scoring title for a second time.
* 2004: Moved to the Miami Heat and won a fourth NBA championship two years later.
* Also played for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and finally the Boston Celtics, before retiring at age 39.
* Stood seven feet one inches tall (2.16 metres), weighed 147 kilograms and wore size 23 shoes.
* Scored 28,596 points in the NBA, the fifth highest total, and was 12th overall in rebounds and seventh in blocked shots.
* As a member of the United States team, he won a world championship in 1994 and an Olympic gold medal at Atlanta in 1996.
* Earned almost $300 million in salary and gave himself a range of nicknames, including The Big Daddy, Superman and The Diesel.
* Released four rap albums, appeared in films and starred in his own television reality shows and had university degrees in arts and business.