Throwback Thursday - Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal was born March 6, 1972. Standing 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighing 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. O'Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year NBA career.
Following his career at Louisiana State University, O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. He quickly became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and later leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After four years with the Magic, O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. They won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Amid tension between O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, and his fourth NBA championship followed in 2006. Midway through the 2007–2008 season he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. After a season-and-a-half with the Suns, O'Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009–10 season. O'Neal played for the Boston Celtics in the 2010–11 season before retiring.
O'Neal's individual accolades include the 1999–2000 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, and three NBA All-Defensive Team selections. He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year (2000); the other players are Willis Reed in 1970 and Michael Jordan in 1996 and 1998. He ranks 6th all-time in points scored, 5th in field goals, 13th in rebounds, and 7th in blocks. Largely due to his ability to dunk the basketball, O'Neal also ranks 3rd all-time in field goal percentage (58.2%).
In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum. He has appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq's Big Challenge and Shaq Vs.
Career highlights and awards
- 4× NBA champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006)
- 3× NBA Finals MVP (2000–2002)
- NBA Most Valuable Player (2000)
- 15× NBA All-Star (1993–1998, 2000–2007, 2009)
- 3× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2000, 2004, 2009)
- 8× All-NBA First Team (1998, 2000–2006)
- 2× All-NBA Second Team (1995, 1999)
- 4× All-NBA Third Team (1994, 1996–1997, 2009)
- 3× All-Defensive Second Team (2000–2001, 2003)
- NBA Rookie of the Year (1993)
- NBA All-Rookie First Team (1993)
- 2× NBA scoring champion (1995, 2000)
- No. 34 retired by Los Angeles Lakers
- FIBA World Championship MVP (1994)
- USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (1994)
- College national player of the year (1992)
- 2× Consensus first-team All-American (1991–1992)
- 2× SEC Player of the Year (1991–1992)
- McDonald's All-American MVP (1989)