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Celtics’ Ainge thinks Shaq will retire

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 28: Shaquille O’Neal #36 of the Boston Celtics during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 28, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Celtics 88-71. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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The ball is in Shaquille O’Neal’s court.

But Celtics head man Danny Ainge told CSN New England he believes Shaq has played his last game.

“I think so,” the Celtics’ director of basketball operations replied when asked if he thought Shaq had played his last game in the NBA. “It’s early to make those emotional decisions, but my guess is he has.”

Shaq has a player option for next season for $1.4 million.

He has said in the past he wanted to play one more season, to play when he was 40, and he wants another shot at a ring, what would be his fifth.

But this season he played just 12 minutes after the end of January as a lingering Achilles and calf injury would just not heal. He had battled a number of heath issues in recent seasons as the toll of a long NBA career started to wear on him.

If he does step away, it has been a glorious career.