That phrase has been Shaq's refrain since he joined the Boston Celtics. He would play 700 more days in the NBA, two more seasons, and try to win two more championships. Then, he would retire from the NBA for good, a legend walking away from the game he loves.
With Shaq's promise of 700 days in mind, take the following words of a Turkish GM with a grain of salt. (Hoops Notes, via Ajansspor.com)
After bringing Allen Iverson, Besiktas now pushed for the transfer of the Boston Celtics’ star Shaquille O’Neal. Seref Yalcin, GM of the Turkish club, said he was in the United States to meet with the center who said to him: "I want to be champion this season with Boston. But I’m coming to Turkey next year." [...]
“Some people will still come out and said ‘Shaq won’t come to Turkey’,” Yalcin added. “But the chances are very high.”
Shaq's defection would be most likely in the case of a lockout, and would be possible because the second year of his contract (according to Sham Sports) is a player option. The Big Diesel could still take his talents to Turkey if there is no lockout, but -- and I repeat -- he has always maintained his "700 days" stance. It seems unlikely he would skip out on his final year in Boston for a lesser league in a foreign country.
This news is weird, right? I definitely didn't wake up this morning with the thought, "Today, I bet Shaq declares his desire to play in Turkey."