Shaquille O'Neal: Is the Best Yet to Come?

Michael McMasterContributor IIIJune 2, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 14:  NBA player Shaquille O'Neal in the audience during the NBA All-Star Game held at Cowboys Stadium on February 14, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Following nineteen NBA seasons, four NBA championships, three NBA Finals MVP honors, 15 all-star seasons, and an NBA MVP award, Shaq announced his retirement on Wednesday during an interview with SportsCenter.

What may be harder to believe is that Shaq's best years may still be in front of him. 

Shaq called himself a “business man” and said that he will be watching over some of the small businesses he owns while he rehabilitates his body this summer. He is on the advisory board of Tout Industries, a technology company located in San Francisco.

But a couple of business meetings certainly are not enough to keep Shaq, the professional athlete, platinum artist, serial entrepreneur, and reality television star occupied. Nope, Shaq told ESPN that he is currently writing his dissertation and hopes to become Dr. Shaq by December. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in a 48-credit Human Resources Development program at Barry University in Miami.

Barry is a private, Catholic institution with just under 4,000 graduate students. It is unranked by U.S. News and World Report, but the program fits Shaq perfectly. The doctorate being pursued by the four-time champion is described as a “Leadership and Education” degree which, according to Barry, will “prepare you to lead your organization to higher levels of quality and productivity.” Shaq can probably check those boxes already.

Alright, so what does Shaq plan to do once he becomes Dr. O’Neal?

He says he’s going to run for sheriff, which would instantly make him the most physically imposing law enforcement officer in the United States.

It’s a shame that Shaq is so interested in doing good and creating positive change in the community. I think it would be a lot better to see “Sir” Charles Barkley bickering with Dr. Shaq on NBA Shootaround. That might just be better than any NBA game played next season.

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