Shaquille O’Neal Displays Modesty When Discussing His Hall of Fame Chances

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NEWPORT, R.I. — Shaquille O'Neal has been called a lot of things in his life — entertaining, gregarious, galvanizing and, above all, huge (both in his stature and his massive physical frame). But exceedingly modest? That doesn't sound like the Diesel that we all know and love.

And yet, when a conversation at Celtics camp Friday afternoon shifted to the topic of the Basketball Hall of Fame, O'Neal was surprisingly reluctant to talk about himself as a slam-dunk inductee in Springfield.

"I don't know how that process works," O'Neal said. "Hopefully you guys [the media] will vote me in, however it works. But I just know that coming in, I wanted to be known and to make a mark for myself. I think I've done that, both statistically and championship-wise. So if I get in, good. If not, I understand."

O'Neal has to this date accumulated four NBA championship rings, three Finals MVP awards, an MVP, a Rookie of the Year and 15 All-Star selections, not to mention nearly $300 million in career earnings. Chances are, he's a shoo-in for the Hall. But he's not ready to talk about enshrinement.

When it comes to his Celtic teammates, however, O'Neal is more than ready to pass judgment.

"When I step out of athlete mode and go into fan mode, I have to say, though, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett — they're all Hall of Famers because of what they've done," O'Neal said.

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