Shaq’s mom thinks he might return to Celtics next year

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About that plan for Shaquille O’Neal to retire….

It’s been the assumption in Boston that Shaq would retire and GM Danny Ainge said on his radio show recently he basically expects it.

But Ainge and the Celtics signed Shaq to a two-year deal with the player having the option for the second year. It’s Shaq’s call, not the Celtics. And his mother told the New Orleans Times-Picayune she thinks he may well return.

“He went there to help them win a championship, and they didn’t do that this year,’’ Lucille said. “It bothered him so much that he could not play. He felt like he let the Boston team down and the community down, so I could believe he’s going back to Boston. He’s not in a place to be traded or anything like that.’’

Shaq did not play a regular season game from February through the end of the season. In the second round of the playoffs against the Heat he tried to give it a go, he played 17 minutes across two games, and that left him limping and unable to continue. His body is just not going to put up with the grind of the NBA season again.

But it’s up to him. And it will not be easy for him to walk away.