How Good Was Shaquille O’Neal?
Shaquille O’Neal was a basketball player who won three NBA championships and four regular-season MVP awards. Also known as the 7-foot center who was named Rookie of the Year in 1992. He was known as “Shaq” and “Shaq Diesel” and was up there with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as one of the most physically imposing and dominant players of his era.
He was one of the NBA’s biggest stars in the 1990s, who was named to the All-Star team in each of his first 8 seasons and was named MVP in the 1996-97 season. He has even won an NBA Final MVP Award, two NBA Championships, and two NBA MVP Awards.
Shaq’s career began in the early ’90s when he was a high school basketball star from Louisiana, raised by his mom and grandmother. From there, he went on to the NBA, where he averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds per game for 18 seasons. His time in the league also included two championships, two MVP awards, and being the only man ever to hold the record for most double-doubles in NBA history.
When Shaq was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992, he was hoping to prove his ability to play basketball, but the real test would be his ability to lead. Shaq was taught to be respectful, helpful, and honest in the way he was raised. He was never allowed to bully or show hatred for anyone. His parents taught him to be strong-willed and to love others.
When Shaquille O’Neal broke into the NBA in 1992, the big man didn’t set out to become one of the best players ever to play the game. Shaq first entertained the idea of entering the NBA draft but was unsure about how he would be received by coaches and players. During his first year at LSU, Shaq averaged more than 30 minutes of playing time per game. After graduating with a degree in economics, he was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first pick of the 1992 NBA draft. Despite his young age, Shaq was already a solid player. He averaged 17.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game during his rookie season.
In a sea of multi-million dollar athletes, Shaquille O’Neal stood out as a unique force. In a league dominated by immaculate body types, Shaq had a body that was far from perfect, but it was undeniably unique. A 2000s-era power forward, Shaq had a muscle-bound physique that would rival any current NBA player at the time, but it was his size that set him apart. Standing at a staggering 7 feet, 2 inches, he had the massive, muscular frame of an NFL defensive tackle, but still had the speed and agility of a smaller player.
When it comes to basketball, few individuals have had more success than Shaquille O’Neal. The 7-foot, 325-pound center was the league’s MVP during the regular season, and he was named to the All-NBA First Team eight times. After leaving the Miami Heat behind to chase his dreams, O’Neal landed one of the most sought-after free-agent deals in NBA history.
He was arguably the greatest player in the game in the 1990s. He also won four NBA titles in six years with the LA Lakers and was the centerpiece of the Miami Heat’s NBA title teams in 2006 and 2012. The stats were staggering: he averaged at least 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game in every season between 1992-2000, when he was in his early 20s.
When Shaquille O’Neal retired from the NBA after 19 years, his retirement was met with high praise and adulation from around the world. After all, he was one of the most dominant big men to ever play the game. He was also a very good basketball player who had the ability to score, rebound and defend.
His career spanned over 20 years and, at one point, was considered one of the best players in the NBA. He was a 7x All-Star, a 3x NBA Champion, and earned a spot on the All-NBA team 8 different times. That said, things haven’t quite been the same for him since his retirement in 2011, and his career is now in the spotlight for a new documentary.