Shaq chooses Twitter to announce retirement

Where once he might have held a press conference, now the basketball great calls it quits with a tweet and the clever use of new real-time social media tool Tout.

If Shaq had been LeBron, he might have organized an hour-long ESPN special to announce that he was taking his talents out to pasture.

If Shaq had been Jordan, he would, at very least, have called a vast press conference and, on being inducted to the Hall of Fame, he would have scowled at all those by whom he felt slighted.

But Shaq is just whimsical, old absurdist Shaq. So today he posted a little movie, using the real-time social media service Tout, to his Twitter feed. Sitting in what looked like his office at home, he casually announced that he was about to retire.

Some stars have found the invention of Twitter rather liberating.

Confident of their own style and persona, they have managed to communicate directly with their fans, avoiding so many of the piped, hyped flackmeisters who claim to know how and when everything should be said.

Shaq has navigated the waters of public relations with some panache throughout much of his career.

And though his Achilles' tendon (and most of the rest of him) will no longer hold up to daily scrutiny, he knows about marketing. Just this one appearance on Tout has has, according to GigaOm driven more than 500,000 people to the service.

It seems, though, that despite confirming his decision to ESPN.com, he might not have informed his current employers, the Boston Celtics.

Or perhaps he merely thought that they, of all people, were following him on Twitter.

 

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