Shaquille O’Neal reportedly could possibly come out of retirement to play basketball in Mexico.
Fuerza Regia’s president, Sergio Ganem confirmed on Wednesday, that his Mexican Basketball League is working to acquire the All-Star center to their lineup for the upcoming 2012-2013 season via ESPN’s Spanish sports website, ESPNdeportes.com.
The report says: “Shaq would play one or two games in October. The two sides have had conversations but no deal is in place.”
Furthermore, the report stated that:
The director indicated that they have talked on the telephone with the ex-player with the goal of convincing him to to return to activity.
The invitation was made this past August when the ex-NBA player visited Monterrey to do social work with a community center for youths in wheelchairs.
Although, he retired in 2011, Shaq is probably the best center in the history of the NBA and a 15-time NBA All-Star. He has won several NBA championships and received almost every honor that the NBA has come up with. The Los Angeles Lakers franchise recently announced that they will retire his No. 34 jersey in April.
Compared to the NBA, the Mexican league would offer far less competition, making it possible for the 40-year-old Shaq to bring it against younger, fitter and healthier opponents.
If Shaq accepted the offer, he could keep his job as a host on TNT’s Inside the NBA since it would be a temporary gig to help bring attention to international basketball.
Shaq is one of the founding members of the concept of “celebrity-athletes,” and is a major popular culture figure. A return to the court in Mexico would probably create a lot of publicity for basketball in the country. Look at the recent buzz that Kobe Bryant created during his promotional tour of China.