Shaquille O’Neal: Basketball
Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal (born: March 6, 1972), popularly known as Shaq, is an American retired professional basketball player, a former rapper, actor and current analyst on the television show “Inside the NBA”. Standing 7 feet tall and weighing 315 pounds, Shaq was one of the dominant players in the NBA. He was drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic in 1992. His step-father taught him how to play basketball. They would practice before eating. O’Neal attended Robert G. Cole High School where his basketball team went 68-1 during his two years with the team. He led the team to a Texas State Championship during his senior year. He attended the Louisiana State University where he was a two-time All-American and two-time SEC Player of the Year, as well as the recipient of the 1991 Adolph Rupp Trophy for the NCAA men’s basketball player of the year.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Shaq was a 3-time NBA Finals MVP, 15-time All-Star selection and 4-time NBA champion. He won the NBA MVP award with the LA Lakers in 2000 as well as three straight NBA Championships before helping the Miami Heat win the franchise’s first ever NBA Championship in 2006. O’Neal ranks 6th all-time in points scored, 5th in field goals, 13th in rebounds and 7th in blocks. He also ranks 3rd all-time in field goal percentage.
Why Was He So Good?
Shaquille O’Neal was a mixture of yesterday’s centers with the quickness and swiftness of today’s smaller men. He ran around slower defenders and ran over the small ones. He changed the game of basketball and the role of the center in the NBA for 19 years. He easily balanced style and substance, facts and flair.
What You May Not Know
- In 1996, Shaquille O’Neal signed the biggest contract in NBA history – seven years for $120 million with the Los Angeles Lakers.
- He graduated LSU with a Bachelor of Science in General Studies and a minor in Political Science.
- When Shaq was five years old, his mother had to carry his birth certificate with her to prove to bus drivers that he was not nine years old because he was extremely tall.
- He wanted to serve as a police officer when his playing days were over. He worked with the LA Police (while he was with the Lakers) and did the same with the Miami Police.
- Shaq played for 6 teams – Orlando Magic (1992-1996), Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2004), Miami Heat (2004-2008), Phoenix Suns (2008-2009), Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010) and Boston Celtics (2010-2011).
Was he a legend?
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