Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal, known to his family, friends, and fans as Shaq, was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey. He grew up living a modest life. Not even in his wildest dreams did he think he would become a member of the NBA Hall of Fame.
Shaq grew up in San Antonio, Texas, where he attended and graduated from Cole High School. After graduating, he enrolled at Louisiana State University, not knowing that he made his first steps towards becoming one of the best players NBA will ever see.
While at college, Shaq devoted himself to basketball. Thanks to his physique, he was dominant in both offense and defense. In 1991, he was acknowledged as the College Player of the Year. In 1991 and 1992, he was named a unanimous first-team All-American.
In 1992, Shaq dropped out of college to pursue a career as a professional NBA player.
The Orlando Magic drafted Shaq, and he quickly won the hearts of Magic’s fans who cheered “Shaq” every time he scored or blocked. During his rookie season, Shaq made it to the Top 10 in scoring, blocks, rebounding, and shooting percentage.
Shaq’s weakest spot throughout his whole career was free-throws. Nevertheless, Shaq left a mark in NBA history as the first player in his first week in the league to be named “Player of the Week.”
In 1996, O’Neal signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaq once again made his mark on NBA history when he signed the biggest contract in NBA history. The contract was for seven years and an impressive sum of $120 million. The same year he joined the LA Lakers, Shaq played a vital role in the U.S. Dream Team and won gold at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
Shaq was named a member of the All-NBA Third Team three times, a member of the All-NBA Second Team two times and in 1998, he was finally made a member of the All-NBA First Team. He was the part of the NBA-First Team seven more times (2000-2006). In 2000, he had the honor of being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.
Before the 2000-01 season, Shaq signed a three-year-long contract extension with the Lakers worth $88.5 million. The Lakers won three consecutive world championships (2000-2002). Unfortunately, Shaq was traded in 2004 due to problems with the team management and teammate Kobe Bryant.
He was more than welcomed to the Miami Heat. It took the team two seasons to win the NBA championship. Thus, Shaq added a fourth championship to his resume. After the 2007-08 season, Shaq joined the Phoenix Suns. Playing for the Suns helped him get named the NBA All-Star Game’s co-MVP.
Once the Cleveland Cavaliers made an offer that was hard to refuse, the Suns traded Shaq to the Cavaliers. During the 2009-10 season, the Cavaliers made it to the playoffs earning the No. 1 seed. During this season, Shaq once again made NBA history as the oldest NBA player with an active contract.
In 2010, Shaq became a free agent and joined the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately, Shaq suffered an Achilles injury, which caused him to miss 27 season games, only to play two playoff games in the second round.
After a 19 year-long career, Shaq finally announced his plans to retire on Twitter. He joined the Turner Network Television team as an NBA analyst.
With a lot of time on his hands, Shaq decided to try himself out in the music and entertainment industry. He appeared as a guest on the police drama Southland in 2013, launched his sitcom in 2015, and appeared on in the sports comedy Uncle Drew. He even released a solo rap album, Shaq Diesel.
Shaquille O’Neal Relationships: Who Has He Dated
Shaquille O’Neal is devoted to his partners. He has been in relationships with:
- Shaunie O’Neal 2002 – 2010 (Married)
- Laticia Rolle (2014-2018)
In the News
During his career, Shaq was constantly in the news. As of lately, we saw Shaq randomly appearing in the media doing fun ads as well as some charity work. He also appeared as an undercover Lyft driver to surprise passengers and showed up on a random Florida basketball court to join a pickup game and have fun with kids.
Stay up to date with the latest Shaquille O’Neal news and more right here at the Shade Room!