By: Hamza Soliman
Born: March 6, 1972
Place of Birth: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Quotes:”I had to apologize to the coach and the team. It was a terrible performance by me.”
“The key for me is to stay aggressive and not really worry about how they call the game. If they are going to foul me out, then they are going to have to foul me out.”
“I got into foul trouble early and never got into the flow of the game. The foul trouble is very frustrating, and I knew when I saw (referee) Bob Delaney I was going to be in trouble anyway. We did still have chances to win the game; we just made mistakes you can’t make in this building.”
“It was very frustrating. However, I knew when I saw (official) Bob Delaney out there it would be trouble. You just can’t make the mistakes that we did and win in this building.”
“I just have to be a little more careful and stay out of foul trouble. I’m in great shape, so I can play as many amount of minutes as I want to.”
“Obviously, do all the math and … everybody knows what that [trade] is really about.”
“It’s good that the proceeds go to where they go, but we have great fan support here, so we just want to give them a good show. Of course, it’s not the Finals, so we’re not going to go one million percent, but we might go 850,000 percent.”
“I was running the court very well, getting the ball and making the aggressive move. I’m still missing two or three jump hooks that I don’t usually miss. I’ll get it back.”
“They have rules that they write down. I just want them to enforce them consistently. Like I know, I got tackled under the basket. If I had done that, they would have given me a flagrant foul.”
Achievements: 10) All-Defensive Team (2000-01, 2003)
Due to his sheer 7-foot-1, 325-pound frame, O’Neal provided a formidable deterrent by simply occupying the paint. As such, he was named to the All-Defensive Second Team in 2000, ’01 and ’03. The highlights of his defensive approach were, of course, his thunderous blocks, as he ranked among the NBA’s top 10 in swats for seven of his eight seasons in L.A. This peaked in 1999-2000 when he placed third in the league with 3.0 per game.
9) Seven All-Star Selections
The only way to keep O’Neal out of the All-Star Game was to not have one at all. The only time he missed it as a Laker was due to the 1998-99 lockout that cancelled the event. Other than that, he was named to seven All-Star teams, played in four games and won two MVP trophies. The first came in 2000 when he and Tim Duncan tied for the award after the Big Fella piled up 22 points and nine rebounds. Then he won again on his home floor at Staples Center in 2004 when he poured in 24 points and 11 rebounds.
8) 2001 NBA Finals MVP
Ordering O’Neal’s three NBA Finals MVP awards might just be a futile task considering how destructive he was in each series. Against Philadelphia in 2001, the Diesel averaged 33.0 points, 15.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.4 blocks, while shooting 57.3 percent from the field. O’Neal’s finest moment arose in Game 2, as he went for 28 points, 20 rebounds, nine assists and eight blocks.
7) 11 Straight 30-Point Games
O’Neal’s final three weeks of the 2000-01 regular season bordered on unstoppable. The big man scored at least 30 points in each game, averaging 33.7 along with 12.5 rebounds and a 57.9 percent mark from the field. This, in turn, got him ready for the Lakers’ 15-1 run to the championship in which he contributed 30.4 points and 15.4 rebounds per game.
6) 2002 NBA Finals MVP
L.A.’s sweep of New Jersey was inevitable with the way that O’Neal handled the Nets’ bigs. The Big Aristotle averaged 36.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks, while also hitting 59.5 percent on field goals. In fact, no Net scored as many points in one game as O’Neal averaged through the entire series.
5) 34 Straight Double-Doubles
This streak actually spanned seven months, as it began on March 18, 2001 and ran to the end of the regular season, through the entire playoffs and ended on the second matchup of the following year. O’Neal’s mastery on the scoreboard and glass during this run is highlighted even further considering that this streak also contained the aforementioned 11 straight 30-point games.
4) 2000 NBA Finals MVP
O’Neal’s first championship performance was one of the best by any player in league history. The Pacers were helpless against O’Neal’s interior scoring, as he chewed them up for 38.0 points per game on an absurd 61.1 percent clip. Not forgetting his responsibilities as a big man, he also racked up 16.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. Once again, no opponent managed as many points in a single game as O’Neal averaged.
3) NBA’s No. 7 All-Time Scorer
Only six players in the history of the league — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Dirk Nowitzki — have scored more then O’Neal’s 28,596 career points — about 49 percent of which came as a Laker (13,895). In his first seven seasons in L.A., O’Neal ranked among the top four scorers in the league, which included three years as No. 2 and one with the highest average.
2) No. 3 Field Goal Percentage of All-Time
Perhaps the one aspect of O’Neal’s game more impressive than his scoring volume was the efficiency with which he did it. Only Artis Gilmore and Tyson Chandler have ever recorded a better career field goal percentage than O’Neal (58.2), who shot 57.5 percent in purple and gold. He led the NBA in shooting percentage for all but one year in Los Angeles, though he still finished second that season
1) 2000 NBA MVP
No player came close to touching O’Neal during his lone MVP season, as he received 120 of the award’s 121 first-place votes. O’Neal finished as that year’s scoring champ with 29.7 points per game, while also leading the NBA in field goal percentage (57.4). Off the scoreboard, he averaged 13.6 rebounds and 3.0 blocks, which were both the second-highest of his 19-year career.
Life: Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was on born March 6, 1972, he was nicknamed “Shaq”, is an American retired professional basketball player currently serving as a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. He is widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. At 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA, where he played for six teams throughout his 19-year career.
Following his time 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 1992–93and 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 teamselections, 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 Jordanin 1996 and 1998. He ranks 8th all-time in points scored, 6th in field goals, 14th in rebounds, and 8th in blocks. Largely due to his ability to dunk the basketball, O’Neal also ranks third all-time in field goal percentage (58.2%). O’Neal was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. He was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017.
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.. He hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq.