The towering sportsman, 39, has enjoyed a glittering career on the court, playing for teams including the Orlando Magic, the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers, with which he won three NBA titles. He also won Olympic gold representing the USA at the 1996 Games.
Announcing the news in a video posted on his Twitter.com page on Wednesday (01Jun11), O'Neal, who has also dabbled in movies, rapping and reality TV, says, "We did it. Nineteen years baby. I want to thank you very much, that's why I'm telling you first, I'm about to retire. Love you. Talk to you soon."
O'Neal ended his career after a season with the Boston Celtics. He was the oldest active player in the NBA following the retirement of Lindsey Hunter in March 2010.