HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Aging gracefully in professional sports is an art few superstars can master.
Evander Holyfield is still boxing, hockey legend Gordie Howe played one shift at 69 and Satchel Paige threw his last pitch at 59. We still don’t know if Brett Favre is really done or not. They are just some of the glaring examples of a long and storied list of superstars that did not — and do not — know when to say when.
But there is a way to go out gracefully. You can be ushered out of the game without someone’s boot in your back.
Future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal is rewriting the book this season in Boston, showing that it’s possible to age with grace and do it in style. He’s even doing it in a city that loathed him for years when he was starring for the rival Los Angeles Lakers.
Shaq is still the most robust and magnetic personality the NBA has to offer. He’s light years away from being the MDE (Most Dominant Ever), yet he’s not bitter about it. He will step aside for Kendrick Perkins in the Celtics’ starting lineup without any fussing.