When you think of basketball, the first name that comes to mind is Shaquille O’Neal. He has been a force in NBA for decades and he is considered one of the greatest centers of all time.
Shaquille O’Neal, “Shaq,” was born on March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey to Lucille and Joe O’Neal. Shaq has 4 siblings: two brothers and two sisters.
O’Neal has always been a larger than life character, both on and off the court. In his rookie season with the Magic, he quickly became one of the most dominant centers in basketball as well as a fan favorite.
Shaquille O’Neal’s first dunk
At the end of his first NBA season, Shaquille O’Neal challenged then-NBA legend and Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain to a friendly free throw shooting contest. After O’Neal made 13 consecutive free throws, he told Chamberlain that if he made three, O’Neal would pay him $100. Then he proceeded to throw down his first dunk. O’Neal later commented: “I had a fifty-dollar bill in my hand and I gave it to him.”
The “Shaq Daddy” nickname
Before the start of O’Neal’s second season, Lakers play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn gave him the nickname “Shaq Daddy.”
The name was given after Shaquille had scored 41 points and 18 rebounds during a game.
Hearn has said he saw the 6’10” center carrying himself like a man among boys and thus was prompted to call him “Shaq Daddy.”
In the beginning of his career, O’Neal didn’t take shooting very seriously, often shooting from wherever he wanted and thought it was a good shot.
In order to improve his marksmanship, then Laker head coach Del Harris had a shooting contest with O’Neal after practice one day, which O’Neal won.
After the contest, O’Neal’s shot selection improved and his free-throw percentage rose from 53 percent to about 70.
How many seasons did Shaq play
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most successful individuals in NBA history. He has been selected to 19 All-Star games, won four championships and was named Most Valuable Player three times during his career.
In addition, he led the league in scoring twice, field goal percentage seven times and rebounding six times. If you include his three Finals MVP awards, he has won a total of 12 individual awards.
He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1993 and NBA scoring champion in 1996. O’Neal also led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive championships from 2000-02.
In addition to these accolades, O’Neal is one of only three players to score over 28,000 points and grab more than 14,000 rebounds in his career. He is also one of only four players to win at least 3 NBA finals MVPs, along with Bill Russell (6), Michael Jordan (6) and LeBron James (3).
Who did Shaquille O’Neal play with during his first season in the NBA?
During his rookie season, O’Neal was a member of the Orlando Magic. The Magic selected him with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft.
What college did Shaquille O’Neal attend?
Shaq attended Louisiana State University, where he played for one season before entering the 1992 NBA Draft.
His retirement from the NBA in 2011
Shaquille O’Neal officially retired from the NBA in 2011. His last game was with the Boston Celtics, who he played with during the 2010-11 season. He won his final game against Atlanta Hawks with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
After his retirement from the Lakers, O’Neal played for the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers before spending a year with the Phoenix Suns.
In addition to this, O’Neal was part of the Boston Celtics squad that won an NBA championship in 2008.
Success for Shaquille’s post-basketball life
Shaquille O’Neal has had an equally successful post-basketball life. He landed a movie role in the Adam Sandler comedy, “Jack and Jill.” In addition, he’s started his own TV show called “Shaq Vs.,” which features him going up against other NBA legends such as Larry Bird and Michael Jordan in various competitions, such as bowling and poker.
O’Neal has also served as an analyst for TNT’s “Inside the NBA” since 2012, Forbes named him one of the 10 Best Celebrity Entrepreneurs, and he is currently an NBA analyst for Turner Sports.
His net worth
Shaquille O’Neal has a reported net worth of $400 million. His earnings over the course of his career are estimated to be around $292 million
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most influential players in NBA history and his net worth of $400 million proves it. He is a legend and has played in 19 All-Star games, won four championships and was named Most Valuable Player three times. In addition, he led the league in scoring twice, field goal percentage seven times and rebounding six times. If you include his three Finals MVP awards, he has won a total of 12 individual awards.