Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He is a Basketball Hall of Fame as player, FIBA Hall of Fame as player, and College Basketball Hall of Famer. At 7 feet 1 inch and weighing 325 pounds, he is looked upon as one of the most dominant in the NBA history. Moreover, he is known to be one of the heaviest players to play in the NBA.
Born in Newark, New Jersey on 6th March 1972, O’Neal led the Robert G. Cole High School team during his couple of years to a 68-1 record. After leaving high school, he attended Louisiana State University and studied business. In 1991, he was honored with the Adolph Rupp Trophy as the NCAA men’s basketball player of the year. On 3rd December 1990, he made the NCAA record of 17 blocks.
In the 1992 NBA Draft, he was the first overall pick by the Orlando magic. For the season, his average was 23.4 points and 13.9 rebounds per game. Hence, he was named the 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year. In the second season, O’Neal had an average of 29.4 points and was leading the NBA in 60 percent field goal percentage. On 20th November 1993, O’Neal recorded the first triple-double in his career.
In the 1995-96 Season, O’Neal was injured and missed 28 games. After this season, he abandoned Orlando Magic and joined Los Angeles Lakers as he was attracted by the seven year and 122 million USD contract. In 1999, O’Neal along with Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to three continuous NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. All the three times, O’Neal was named the most valuable player of the NBA finals.
On 14th July 2004, O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat. He lost the 2004-05 Most Valuable Player Award to Steve Nash, in one of the closest votes in NBA history. On 11th April 2006, O’Neal registered the second triple-double in his career against the Toronto Raptors. In the NBA playoffs of 2006, the Miami Heat won their first NBA championship. In the finals, the Heat beat Dallas Mavericks.
In the 2006-07 Season, O’Neal had a right knee injury and missed about 30 games. In the same season, he completed 25,000 career points. In the process, he became the 14th player in the history of NBA to attain this record. In the 2007-08 Season, he reached average career lows in blocks, rebounds and points. On 20th February 2008, O’Neal was traded to Phoenix Suns. In the debut match, he scored 15 points and 9 rebounds and his team won.
O’Neal has won four NBA championships. Of these one is with Miami Heat and three are with Los Angeles Lakers. He also won the gold medal in the 1994 Canada World Championships and a gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Shaquille O’Neal’s career statistics are 28,596 points, 13,099 rebounds, and 2,732 blocks.