I'd like to thank the NBA and David Stern of what he has created here, for the NBA today. I'mgonna miss a lot about the game. I'm going to miss the competition, the camaraderie, thefriendship, the fans, joking with the media, and I'm really going to miss the free throws.
Basketball has opened many doors in my life. I represented the country in the Olympics. And Isecured my master's degree, and now I'm working on my PhD in human resource developmentin the Barry University of Miami. I've acted in award-winning movies such as "Kazaam". I'vecreated a lot of businesses. I've created lifelong friendships. And most important, I was able tohelp those in need. I have the privilege of playing for six great organizations. I want to thankeveryone associated with these organizations, the owners, the management, trainers,equipment managers, ball boys, daily security and the list goes on. You all contribute to mysuccess, and I thank you very much.
I would like to thank the coaches, who have contributed to my growth and development as aplayer and a person, especially Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers. Phil Jackson was the one whotaught me how to really focus and really concentrate on what is going on and how to get tothe championship level. Playing for Doc Rivers this year is very very special, because we have alot of talents in the team. But Doc Rivers always focuses on the team. I can remember onetime, I came to him, and say, Doc, I'm five for six. If you want, I can go ten for twelve, youknow, or twelve-eighteen. You know, he said:"Shaq, this is not about you, it's about the team."So, you know, thank you Doc. This guy right here next to me, he gave the best three years inmy life. I wanna thank coach Brown for being an ear for listening when I'm having tough andtrouble time. And also thank you for discovering me in the military basement in Wulf.