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Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal (born March 6, 1972), nicknamed "Shaq", is an American professional basketball player, rapper, actor, reserve police officer and a U.S. Deputy Marshal. He is widely perceived as one of the most dominant players in the history of the NBA. Standing at 7 feet 1 inch, 325 pounds, he is one of the largest players to ever play in the NBA. Throughout his 17 year career, O'Neal has used his size and strength to overpower opponents for points and rebounds.

Following a standout career at Louisiana State Universitymarker, O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. He quickly became one of the top centers in the league, winning Rookie of the year in 1992-1993 and later leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After 4 years with the Magic, O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won three consecutive championships, playing along side Kobe Bryant, in 2000, 2001, and 2002. However O'Neal's relationship with Bryant eventually went downhill, leading to his trade to the Miami Heat in 2004. He won his fourth NBA championship in 2006, but was traded midway through the season just a year later to the Phoenix Suns. After a season-and-a-half with the Suns, O'Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he is playing along side LeBron James in the 2009-10 season.

O'Neal's individual accolades include the 1999-00 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, 3 All-Star Game MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, 2 scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, and 3 NBA All-Defensive Team selections. He currently ranks 5th all-time in points scored, 6th in field goals, 15th in rebounds, and 7th in blocks.

In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released 4 rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum. He has also appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq's Big Challenge and Shaq Vs.

Prior to college

O'Neal first gained national attention as a star at Linton Middle School. He led his Robert G. Cole High School team, San Antonio, Texasmarker, to a 68–1 record during his two years there and helped the team win the state title his senior year. His 791 rebounds during the 1989 season remain a state record for any one player in any classification.

College career

After graduating from high school, O'Neal attended Louisiana State Universitymarker, where he studied business. He had first met Dale Brown, LSU's men's basketball coach at that time, years before in Europe. With O'Neal's stepfather stationed on a U.S. Army base at Wildfleckenmarker, West Germany, and his godfather a First Sergeant at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, O'Neal attended Fulda American High School, a DODDS school.

While playing for Brown at LSU, O'Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time SEC player of the year, and received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men's basketball player of the year in 1991. He also holds the NCAA record for blocked shots in a game with 17 blocks against Mississippi Statemarker on December 3, 1990.

O'Neal left LSU early to pursue his NBA career, but returned to school in 2000 and received a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. He was later inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame.

NBA career

Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic drafted O'Neal with the 1st overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. During that summer, prior to moving to Orlandomarker, he spent a significant amount of time in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. During his rookie season, O'Neal averaged 23.4 points on 56.2% shooting, 13.9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game for the season. He was named the 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year and became the first rookie to be voted an All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1985. The Magic finished 41-41, winning 20 more games than the previous season; however, the team ultimately missed the playoffs by virtue of a tie-breaker with the Indiana Pacers.

In his second season, O'Neal improved his scoring average to 29.4 points (second in the league to David Robinson) while leading the NBA in field goal percentage at 60%. On November 20, 1993, against the New Jersey Nets, O'Neal registered the first triple-double of his career, recording 24 points to go along with career highs of 28 rebounds and 15 blocks. He was voted into the All-Star game and also made the All-NBA 3rd Team. Teamed with newly-drafted Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, the Magic finished with a record of 50-32 and made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In his first playoff series, O'Neal averaged 20.7 points and 13.3 rebounds in a losing effort as the Magic were swept in the first round by the Indiana Pacers.

In his third season, O'Neal led the NBA in scoring with an average of 29.3 points per game. He finished second in MVP voting to David Robinson and was voted into his third straight All-Star Game along with teammate Penny Hardaway. O'Neal and Hardaway formed one of the top duos in the league and helped Orlando to a 57-25 record and the Atlantic Division crown. The Magic won their first ever playoff series against the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1995 NBA Playoffs. They then defeated the Chicago Bulls in the conference semi-finals, dealing Michael Jordan one of his few playoff losses of the decade. After beating Reggie Miller's Indiana Pacers, the Magic reached the NBA Finals, where they would face the defending NBA champion Houston Rockets. O'Neal played well in his first Finals appearance, averaging 28 points on 59.5% shooting, 12.5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. Despite this, the Rockets, led by future Hall-of-Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, swept the series in four games.

O'Neal was injured for a great deal of the 1995–96 season, missing 28 games. He averaged 26.6 points and 11 rebounds per game, made the All-NBA 3rd Team, and played in his 4th All-Star Game. Despite O'Neal's injuries, the Magic finished with a regular season record of 60-22, second in the Eastern conference to the Chicago Bulls, who finished with an NBA record 72 wins. Orlando easily defeated the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks in the first two rounds of the 1995 NBA Playoffs; however, they were no match for the eventual-champion Bulls, who swept them in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Los Angeles Lakers

As a free agent at this point, O'Neal had shown an interest in things outside basketball, including rap music and film-acting. In the summer of 1995, O'Neal was named to the United States Olympic basketball team, and was later part of the gold medal-winning team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlantamarker. During the Olympics, it was announced that O'Neal would join the Los Angeles Lakers on a seven-year, $121 million contract. The Lakers won 56 games during the 1996–97 season. O'Neal averaged 26.2 points and 12.5 rebounds in his first season with Los Angeles; however, he again missed over 30 games due to injury. The Lakers made the playoffs, but lost to the more-experienced Utah Jazz in five games.

The following season, O'Neal averaged 28.3 points and 11.4 rebounds. He also led the league with a 58.4 field goal percentage, which would be the first of five consecutive seasons in which he did so. The Lakers finished the season 61–21, first in the Pacific Division, and were the second seed in the western conference during the 1998 NBA Playoffs. After defeating the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle SuperSonics in the first two rounds, the Lakers again fell to the Jazz, this time in a 4–0 sweep.

With the tandem of O'Neal and teenage superstar Kobe Bryant, expectations for the Lakers increased. However, personnel changes were a source of instability during the 1998–99 season. Long-time Laker point guard Nick Van Exel was traded to the Denver Nuggets; his former backcourt partner Eddie Jones was packaged with back-up center Elden Campbell for Glen Rice to satisfy a demand by O'Neal for a shooter. Coach Del Harris was fired, and former Lakers forward Kurt Rambis finished the season as head coach. The Lakers finished with a 31–19 record during the lockout-shortened season. Although they made the playoffs, they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs, led by Tim Duncan and David Robinson in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Spurs would go on to win their first league title that year.

In 1999, the Lakers hired Phil Jackson as their new head coach, and the team's fortunes soon changed. Using Jackson's triangle offense, O'Neal and Bryant went on to enjoy tremendous success on the court, as they led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive NBA titles (2000, 2001, and 2002). O'Neal was named MVP of the NBA Finals all three times and has the highest scoring average for a center in NBA Finals history.

O'Neal was also voted the 1999–2000 regular season Most Valuable Player, coming just one vote short of becoming the first unanimous MVP in NBA history. Fred Hickman, then of CNN, was the sole voter who did not cast his first-place vote for O'Neal, instead choosing Allen Iverson, then of the Philadelphia 76ers who would go on to win MVP the next season. O'Neal also won the scoring title that year while finishing second in rebounds and third in blocked shots. Jackson's influence resulted in a newfound commitment by O'Neal to defense, resulting in his first All-Defensive Team selection (second-team) in 2000.

In the summer of 2001, holding a basketball camp on the campus of Louisiana State Universitymarker, O'Neal was challenged to a friendly wrestling match by LSU alumnus and current Boston Celtics player Glen "Big Baby" Davis, then 15 years of age and attending high school. O'Neal, weighing , was impressed by the youngster, who had lifted and body-slammed him to the ground. In January 2002 he was involved in a spectacular on-court brawl in a game against the Chicago Bulls. He punched center Brad Miller after an intentional foul to prevent a basket, resulting in a melee with Miller, forward Charles Oakley and several other players. O'Neal was suspended for three games without pay and given a $15,000 fine.

After the Lakers fell to the fifth seed and failed to reach the Finals in 2003, the team made a concerted off-season effort to improve its roster. They sought the free-agent services of forward Karl Malone and aging guard Gary Payton, but due to salary cap restrictions, could not offer either one nearly as much money as he could have made with some other teams. O'Neal assisted in the recruitment efforts and personally persuaded both men to join the squad. Ultimately, both signed, each forgoing larger salaries in favor of a chance to win an NBA championship, which neither had accomplished in his career (and which neither would achieve with the Lakers). At the beginning of the 2003–04 season, with two years left on his contract at the time, O'Neal informed the team of his desire for a substantially larger extension to his contract. It is widely believed that there was also concern about O'Neal's relationship with Kobe Bryant, as the two had exchanged public barbs during the off-season. With Bryant scheduled to become a free agent at the end of that season, many believed he would not choose to remain with the Lakers as O'Neal's sidekick.

After the Lakers' loss to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals, O'Neal was angered by comments made by Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak regarding O'Neal's future with the club, as well as by the departure of Lakers coach Phil Jackson at the request of Dr. Buss. O'Neal made comments indicating that he felt the team's decisions were centered on a desire to appease Bryant to the exclusion of all other concerns, and O'Neal promptly demanded a trade. The Dallas Mavericks and their team owner Mark Cuban were extremely interested in O'Neal and were willing to make a trade with the Lakers, but Kupchak wanted Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs' superstar, in return. Cuban refused to let go of Nowitzki and the Lakers ended trade talks with Dallas. However, Miami showed interest and gradually a trade agreement was made.

Miami Heat

On July 14, 2004, O'Neal was officially traded to the Miami Heat for Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and a future first-round draft choice. O'Neal reverted from his Lakers jersey number 34 to number 32, which he wore while playing for the Orlando Magic. Upon signing with the Heat, O'Neal promised the fans that he would bring a championship to Miami. He claimed that one of the main reasons for wanting to be traded to Miami was because of their up-and-coming star, Dwyane Wade. With O'Neal on board, the new-look Heat surpassed expectations, claiming the best record in the Eastern Conference. He averaged 22.9 ppg and 10.4 rpg, made his 12th consecutive All-Star Team, and made the All-NBA 1st Team. Despite being hobbled by a deep thigh bruise, O'Neal led the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals and a Game 7 against the defending champion Detroit Pistons, losing by a narrow margin. He also narrowly lost the 2004–05 MVP Award to Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash in one of the closest votes in NBA history.

O'Neal going in for a layup with the Heat
In August 2005, O'Neal signed a 5-year-extension with the Heat for $100 million. Supporters applauded O'Neal's willingness to take what amounted to a pay cut and the Heat's decision to secure O'Neal's services for the long term. They contended that O'Neal was worth more than $20 million per year, particularly given that considerably less valuable players earn almost the same amount.

In the second game of the 2005–06 season, O'Neal injured his right ankle and subsequently missed the following 18 games. Many critics stated that Heat coach Pat Riley correctly managed O'Neal during the rest of the season, limiting his minutes to a career low. Riley felt doing so would allow O'Neal to be healthier and fresher come playoff time. Although O'Neal averaged career lows (or near-lows) in points, rebounds, and blocks, he said in an interview "Stats don't matter. I care about winning, not stats. If I score 0 points and we win I'm happy. If I score 50, 60 points, break the records, and we lose, I'm pissed off. 'Cause I knew I did something wrong. I'll have a hell of a season if I win the championship and average 20 points a game." During the 2005–06 season, the Heat recorded only a .500 record without O'Neal in the line-up.

On April 11, 2006, O'Neal recorded his second career triple-double against the Toronto Raptors with 15 points, 11 rebounds and a career high 10 assists. O'Neal finished the season as the league leader in field goal percentage; he joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only two players in league history to lead the league in field goal percentage nine times.

In the 2006 NBA Playoffs, the Miami Heat would go on to win their first NBA Championship. Led by both O'Neal and eventual NBA Finals MVP Dwyane Wade, the 2nd seeded Heat defeated the defending Eastern Conference Champion and top-seeded Detroit Pistons in a rematch of the 2005 Conference Finals, and then defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals.
O'Neal holding the championship ball when the NBA Champion Heat visited the White House
O'Neal put up considerably lower numbers compared to those he recorded during the 2005–06 regular season, but he twice delivered dominant games in order to close out a playoff series: a 30-point, 20-rebound effort in Game 6 against the Chicago Bulls in the first round, and a 28-point, 16-rebound, 5-block effort in Game 6 against the Pistons. It was O'Neal's fourth title in seven seasons, and fulfilled his promise of delivering an NBA championship to Miami. At the victory celebration O'Neal declared another championship was on the way, saying, "We will see you again next year!"

In the 2006–07 season O'Neal missed over thirty games with a right knee injury. The Miami Heat struggled during his absence but with his return won seven of their next eight games. Bad luck still haunted the squad, however, as Wade dislocated his left shoulder, leaving O'Neal as the focus of the team. Critics were doubting if O'Neal, now in his mid-thirties, was able to put the team on his shoulders and if he could carry them into the playoffs. The Heat went on a much needed winning streak to keep them in the race for a playoff spot, which they finally secured against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 5.

In a rematch of the year before, the Heat faced the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. The Heat struggled against the Bulls and although O'Neal put up reasonable numbers, he was not able to dominate the series. The Bulls outplayed the Heat, resulting in a sweep. It was for the first time in ten years that O'Neal did not advance into the second round. In the 2006–07 season O'Neal reached 25,000 career points, becoming the 14th player in NBA history to accomplish that milestone. Despite this milestone, the 2006–07 season was the first in his career in which O'Neal's scoring average dropped below 20 points per game.

O'Neal experienced a rough start for the 2007–08 season, averaging career lows in points, rebounds and blocks. His role in the Heat offense diminished, as he attempted only 10 field goals per game, in comparison with his career average of 17. In addition, O'Neal was plagued by fouls, and during one stretch fouled out five consecutive games. As a result of his poor performance and lengthy court absences, O'Neal's 14 straight All-Star appearances ended that season, as he was neither selected as a starter nor as a reserve in the game at New Orleans.

Phoenix Suns

Shaquille O'Neal as a member of the Suns against the New Orleans Hornets, February 27, 2008
The Phoenix Suns acquired O'Neal from the Miami Heat in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. O'Neal made his Suns debut on February 20, 2008 against his former Lakers team, scoring 15 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in the process. The Lakers won, 130–124. O'Neal was upbeat in a post-game press conference, stating: "I will take the blame for this loss because I wasn't in tune with the guys [...] But give me four or five days to really get in tune and I'll get it."

However, in 28 regular-season games, O'Neal averaged 12.9 points and 10.6 rebounds in his first year with the Suns, Shaquille O'Neal career stats and splits reaching the playoffs. One of the alleged reasons for the trade was to limit Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs in case of a series during the postseason, especially after the Suns' six-game elimination in the 2007 NBA Playoffs. O'Neal and the Phoenix Suns did face the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, yet they were once again eliminated, this time in five games. In the series, O'Neal averaged 15.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.

The 2008–09 season differed very much for O'Neal, averaging 18 pts, 9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks through the first half (41 games) of the season, leading the Suns to a 23–18 record and 2nd place in their division. He returned to the All-Star Game in 2009 and emerged as co-MVP along with ex-teammate Kobe Bryant.

On February 27, 2009, O'Neal scored 45 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, his 49th career 40-point game in a win against the Toronto Raptors. He and the Suns defeated the Raptors 133–113. The 2009 NBA Playoffs was also the first time since O'Neal's rookie season in 1992–93 that he did not participate in the playoffs.

Cleveland Cavaliers

On June 25, 2009, O'Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Sasha Pavlovic, Ben Wallace, $500,000 and a 2010 second round draft pick.

Player profile

O'Neal's free throw shooting is regarded as one of his major weaknesses.

Throughout his career, O'Neal established himself as a formidable low post presence, putting up career averages of 25.2 points on .581 field goal accuracy, 11.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game (as of May 2008).

At , and U.S. shoe size 23, he is famous for his physical stature. His physical frame gives him a power advantage over most opponents, and for a man of that size, he is quick and explosive.

O'Neal's "drop step", (called the "Black Tornado" by O'Neal) in which he posts up a defender, turns around and, using his elbows for leverage, powers past him for a very high-percentage slam dunk, has proven an extremely effective offensive weapon, though it has been limited in recent years. In addition, O'Neal frequently uses a right-handed jump hook shot to score near the basket. The ability to dunk frequently contributes to his career field goal accuracy of .582; he is the second most accurate shooter of all time.

Opposing teams often use up many fouls on O'Neal, limiting the playing time of their own big men. O'Neal's physical presence inside the paint has caused dramatic changes in many teams' offensive and defensive strategies that can be seen over the course of his career.

O'Neal's primary weakness is his free-throw shooting. His career average is 52.4%. He once missed all 11 free throws in a game against the Seattle SuperSonics on December 8, 2000, a record. In hope of exploiting O'Neal's poor foul shooting, opponents often commit intentional fouls against him, a tactic known as "Hack-a-Shaq". O'Neal is the fourth-ranked player all-time in free throws taken, having shot 10895 in 1117 games through the 08-09 season. On December 25, 2008, O'Neal missed his 5,000th free throw, becoming the second player in NBA history to do so along with Wilt Chamberlain.

O'Neal has been able to step up his performance in big games, having been voted three-times NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

On his own half of the hardwood, O'Neal is considered to be a capable defender, and he was named three times to the All-NBA Second Defensive Team. His presence serves to intimidate opposing players shooting near the basket, and he has averaged 2.4 blocked shots per game over the course of his career.

As a teammate, O'Neal is also noted for his ability to form symbiotic relationships with young, talented guards. Playing alongside O'Neal, talents like Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade blossomed into legitimate superstars.

Media personality

O'Neal is generally liked by the media for his playful tone in interviews. He has been called "The Big Aristotle and Hobo Master", a name that was self-given, for his composure and insights during these interviews. O'Neal has several nicknames, some of which have been given by the media. Some of the most common ones are "Shaq," "The Diesel," "Shaq Fu," "The Big Aristotle," "The Big Daddy," "Superman," "The Big Agave," "The Big Cactus," "The Big Shaqtus," "The Big Galactus," "Wilt Chamberneezy," "The Big Baryshnikov," "The Real Deal," "Dr. Shaq" (after earning his MBA), and, most recently, "Shaqovic."

During the 2000 Screen Actors Guild strike, O'Neal performed in a commercial for Disney. O'Neal was fined by the union for crossing the picket line.

O'Neal's humorous and sometimes incendiary comments fueled the Los Angeles Lakers' long standing rivalry with the Sacramento Kings; O'Neal frequently referred to the Sacramento team as the "Queens." During the 2002 victory parade, O'Neal declared that Sacramento will never be the capital of California, after the Lakers beat the Kings in a tough seven game series enroute to completing a three-peat of championship titles.He also received some media flak for mocking Chinese speech when interviewed about newcomer center Yao Ming, but he was able to downplay the media attention to the event. O'Neal told a reporter, "you tell Yao Ming, ching chong yang, wah, ah so". Yao himself stated he did not find it offensive, but could see how others might interpret the remark as a racist comment. Yao replied that Chinese is a difficult language to learn. O'Neal's supporters said it was a reaction to Yao being over promoted by marketers and the media. Some blame this hype for allowing Yao to edge O'Neal in fan voting for the starting position of center at the All-Star Game.

During the 2005 NBA playoffs, O'Neal lamented of his poor play due to injury as being comparable to Erick Dampier, a Dallas Mavericks center who had failed to score a single point in one of their recent games. The quip inspired countless citations and references by announcers during those playoffs, though Dampier himself offered little response to the insult. The two would meet in the 2006 NBA Finals.

O'Neal is very vocal with the media, and often jabs at former Laker teammate Kobe Bryant. In the summer of 2005, when asked about Kobe, he responded, "I'm sorry, who?" and continued to pretend that he did not know who Kobe was until well into the 2005–2006 season.

O'Neal has also appeared in many other shows such as Saturday Night Live and in 2007 hosted Shaq's Big Challenge, a reality show on ABC where he challenged Florida kids to lose weight and stay in shape.

When the Lakers faced the Miami Heat on January 16, 2006, O'Neal and Kobe Bryant made headlines by engaging in handshakes and hugs before the game, an event that was believed to signify the end of the so-called "Shaq–Kobe feud" that had festered since the center left Los Angeles. O'Neal was quoted as saying that he accepted the advice of NBA legend Bill Russell to make peace with Bryant. However, on June 22, 2008, O'Neal freestyled a diss rap about Bryant in a New York club. While rapping, O'Neal blamed Kobe for his divorce from his wife Shaunie and claims to have received a vasectomy, as part of a rhyme. He also taunted Bryant for not being able to win a championship without him. O'Neal led the audience to mockingly chant several times "Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes." O'Neal justified his act by saying "I was freestyling. That's all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever. That is what MC's do. They freestyle when called upon. I'm totally cool with Kobe. No issue at all." Although even other exponents of hip hop, such as Snoop Dogg, Nas and Cory Gunz, agreed with O'Neal, Maricopa County, Arizonamarker Sheriff Joe Arpaio expressed his intention to relieve O'Neal of his Maricopa County sheriff posse badge, due to use of a racially derogatory word and other foul language. The quote from his song was "it's like a white boy trying to be more nigga than me."

Off court


O'Neal left LSU for the NBA after three years. However, he promised his mother he would eventually return to his studies and complete his bachelor's degree. He fulfilled that promise in 2000, earning his bachelor of arts in general studies. Coach Phil Jackson let O'Neal miss a home game so he could attend graduation. At the ceremony, he told the crowd "now I can go and get a real job".Subsequently, O'Neal earned an MBA online through the University of Phoenix in 2005.
It's just something to have on my resume for when I go back into reality. Someday I might have to put down a basketball and have a regular 9-to-5 like everybody else.

— O'Neal, in reference to his completion of an MBA degree

Law enforcement

Also, O'Neal has maintained a high level of interest in the workings of the police department and has become personally involved in law enforcement. O'Neal went through the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Reserve Academy and became a reserve officer with the L.A. Port Police. He is seen in a commercial for ESPN in Miami Police garb climbing up a tree to rescue LSUmarker mascot Mike the Tigermarker (the costumed one, not the real one).

On March 2, 2005, O'Neal was given an honorary U.S. Deputy Marshal title and named the spokesman for the Safe Surfin' Foundation; he served an honorary role on the task force of the same name, which tracks down sexual predators who target children on the Internet.

Upon his trade to Miami, O'Neal began training to become a Miami Beachmarker reserve officer. On December 8, 2005, he was sworn in as a reserve officer, electing for a private ceremony so not to distract from the special moment of the other officers. He assumed a $1 per year salary in this capacity. Shortly thereafter, in Miami, O'Neal was a witness to a hate crime and called Miami-Dade police, giving them a description of the suspect and helping police, over his cell phone, track the offender. O'Neal's actions resulted in the arrest of two suspects, whom he had witnessed assaulting a man on the street while calling out homosexual slurs.

Music career

From 1993 onward, O'Neal has pursued a rapping career. He has released five studio albums and 1 compilation album. Although his rapping abilities have often been criticized, it has been noted that he has continuously been "progressing as a rapper in small steps, not leaps and bounds." His 1993 debut album, Shaq Diesel, received platinum certification from the RIAA. O'Neal was featured alongside Michael Jackson as a guest rapper on "2 Bad," a song from Jackson's 1995 album HIStory. His first rap single, "(I Know I Got) Skillz," was featured in the film Pineapple Express.


O'Neal has appeared as himself on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, bedridden after Larry David's character accidentally tripped him while stretching, and in two episodes each of My Wife and Kids and the The Parkers. O'Neal appeared in the 311 music video for the hit single "You Wouldn't Believe" in 2001, in P. Diddy's video for "Bad Boys 4 Life", and the video for Aaron Carter's "That's How I Beat Shaq. O'Neal appeared in the movie CB4 in a small "interviewing" scene. O'Neal played John Henry Irons/Steel in a movie based on the popular superhero Steel. O'Neal appeared in a SportsCenter commercial dressed in his Miami police uniform, rescuing Mike the Tigermarker from a tree. O'Neal was also a support character in the movie "Blue Chips" with Nick Nolte. O'Neal also reportedly wanted a role in the film X2 (the second in the X-Men film series), but was ignored by the filmmakers.

He has voiced animated versions of himself on several occasions, including on the animated series Static Shaq episode of Static Shock; in the Johnny Bravo episode Back on Shaq, in which Shaquille O'Neal discovers that Johnny Bravo is a good luck charm and uses him to help his team win games until it came to a face-off against Seth Green and his good-luck charm Huckleberry Hound; and in the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, in which he is seen fighting Godzilla and survives a collision with the Batmobile. Because he is a fan of The Man of Steel, Static Shock creators had hoped to have O'Neal and Superman meet in a Season 3 episode, but O'Neal was not located in time to do the episode.

Video games

O'Neal is featured on the covers of video games NBA Live 96, NBA 2K6, NBA 2K7, NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC, NBA Hoopz, and NBA Inside Drive 2004. O'Neal appeared in the arcade version of NBA Jam, NBA Jam and NBA Live 2004 as a current player and as a 90's All-Star. O'Neal starred in Shaq Fu, a fighting game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis. O'Neal has also appeared in Backyard Basketball 2004, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 as a playable boxer, and as an unlockable character in Delta Force: Black Hawk Down.

Reality television

O'Neal and his mother Lucille Harrison were featured in the documentary film Apple Pie, which aired on ESPN. O'Neal had a 2005 reality series on ESPN, Shaquille, and hosted a reality television show called Shaq's Big Challenge on ABC appearing with Tyler Florence and Carlon Colker among others.

O'Neal appeared on NBA Ballers and NBA Ballers: Phenom, in the 2002 Discovery Channel special "Motorcycle Mania 2" requesting an exceptionally large bike to fit his large size from famed custom motorcycle builder Jesse G. James, in the first Idol Gives Back in 2007, on an episode of Fear Factor, and on an episode of MTV's Jackass, where he was lifted off the ground on Wee Man's back. O'Neal is a fan of wrestling and has made appearances at many WWE events.

O'Neal was pranked on the MTV show Punk'd when a crew member accused him of stealing his parking space. After O'Neal and his wife went into the restaurant, Ashton Kutcher's crew members let the air out of O'Neal's car tires. O'Neal and the crew member then got into an altercation and after Kutcher told O'Neal he was Punk'd, O'Neal flipped the bird at the camera.

O'Neal is starring in a reality show called Shaq Vs. which premiered on August 18, 2009 on ABC. The show features O'Neal competing against other athletes at their own sports..On the July 27 episode of WWE Raw, O'Neal was the special guest host and put himself as the special ringside enforcer in a match involving Cryme Tyme and the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho and The Big Show. After the match O'Neal and Big Show had a confrontation which lead to O'Neal shoulder blocking The Big Show.

Other projects

O'Neal is looking to expand his business ventures with real-estate-development projects aimed at assisting Orlandomarker homeowners facing foreclosure. His plans involve buying the mortgages of those who have fallen into foreclosure and then selling the homes back to them under more affordable terms. He would make a small profit in return, but overall, O'Neal is looking to make an investment in Orlando and help out the homeowners of the city.

Mixed Martial Arts

O'Neal has been training in MMA for the past 10 years in the off-season at Jonathan Burke's Gracie Gym undergoing the full gamut of boxing, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai and wrestling. At the gym, he goes by the nickname "Diesel."

O'Neal challenged kickboxer and mixed martial artist Choi Hong-man to a mixed martial arts rules bout in a YouTube video posted on June 17, 2009. Hong-man replied to an email asking him if he would like to fight O'Neal saying "Yes, if there is a chance." Hong-man also responded to a question asking if O'Neal had a chance of winning with a simple "No."

Personal life

Shaquille O'Neal as a member of the Suns
O'Neal was born in Newarkmarker, New Jerseymarker. He remains estranged from his biological father, Joseph Toney of Newark. Toney has struggled with drug addiction and was imprisoned when O'Neal was an infant. Upon his release, Toney did not resume a place in O'Neal's life and instead agreed to surrender his parental rights to O'Neal's stepfather, Phillip A. Harrison, an Army sergeant. O'Neal and Toney have never spoken, and O'Neal has expressed no interest in a reconciliation. On his 1994 rap album, Shaq Fu: The Return, O'Neal voiced his feelings of disdain for Toney in the song "Biological Didn't Bother", referring to Harrison with the verse, "Phil is my father."

In his mansion in Orlandomarker, Floridamarker, O'Neal has a homemade movie theater with two rows of five retractable chairs, Superman lights, another Superman symbol on the floor, a big screen, another Superman symbol on his blanket, and 5.1 surround sound. O'Neal also has an indoor basketball court.

O'Neal is a Muslim; the Los Angeles Times quoted him as saying, "It's a Muslim thing", with regard to the greetings he exchanged with opposing player Hedo Türkoğlu before the Western Conference Finals series in 2002. The newspaper also quoted Türkoğlu as saying that he was not surprised at the gesture from O'Neal "because Muslim people support each other." His mother, Lucille (née O'Neal) is a Baptist, and his stepfather is a Muslim.

O'Neal married Shaunie Nelson on December 26, 2002. The couple have four children (Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, and Me'arah, ages ranging from 8 to 2, in order), and Nelson has one child from a previous relationship (Myles, 11). O'Neal also has a daughter from a previous relationship (Taahirah, 12), making him the father of six. The family currently resides on Star Islandmarker in Miami, Floridamarker. They also have maintained a residence inWindermere, Floridamarker, a northwest Orlandomarker suburb.

On September 4, 2007, O'Neal filed for divorce from his wife Shaunie in a Miami-Dade Circuit court. Shaunie later said that the couple had gotten back together and that the divorce was withdrawn. However, on November 10, 2009, Shaunie filed an intent to divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

O'Neal is a 2009 inductee of the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

NBA career statistics

A list of O'Neal's career statistics:

Regular season

81 81 37.9 .562 .000 .592 13.9 1.9 .7 3.5 23.4
81 81 39.8 .599 .000 .554 13.2 2.4 .9 2.8 29.3
79 79 37.0 .583 .000 .533 11.4 2.7 .9 2.4 29.3
54 52 36.0 .573 .500 .487 11.0 2.9 .6 2.1 26.6
L.A. Lakers
51 51 38.1 .557 .000 .484 12.5 3.1 .9 2.9 26.2
L.A. Lakers
60 57 36.3 .584 .000 .527 11.4 2.4 .6 2.4 28.3
L.A. Lakers
49 49 34.8 .576 .000 .540 10.7 2.3 .7 1.7 26.3
L.A. Lakers
79 79 40.0 .574 .000 .524 13.6 3.8 .5 3.0 29.7
L.A. Lakers
74 74 39.5 .572 .000 .513 12.7 3.7 .6 2.8 28.7
L.A. Lakers
67 66 36.1 .579 .000 .555 10.7 3.0 .6 2.0 27.2
L.A. Lakers
67 66 37.8 .574 .000 .622 11.1 3.1 .6 2.4 27.5
L.A. Lakers
67 67 36.8 .584 .000 .490 11.5 2.9 .5 2.5 21.5
73 73 34.1 .601 .000 .461 10.4 2.7 .5 2.3 22.9
59 58 30.6 .600 .000 .469 9.2 1.9 .4 1.8 20.0
40 39 28.4 .591 .000 .422 7.4 2.0 .2 1.4 17.3
33 33 28.6 .581 .000 .494 7.8 1.4 .6 1.6 14.2
28 28 28.7 .611 .000 .513 10.6 1.7 .5 1.2 12.9
75 75 30.0 .609 .000 .595 8.4 1.7 .6 1.4 17.8
1117 1108 35.7 .582 .048 .528 11.2 2.6 .6 2.3 24.7
12 9 22.8 .551 .000 .452 8.1 1.4 1.1 1.6 16.8


3 3 42.0 .511 .000 .471 13.3 2.3 .7 3.0 20.7
21 21 38.3 .577 .000 .571 11.9 3.3 .9 1.9 25.7
12 12 38.3 .606 .000 .393 10.0 4.6 .8 1.2 25.8
L.A. Lakers
9 9 36.2 .514 .000 .610 10.6 3.2 .6 1.9 26.9
L.A. Lakers
13 13 38.5 .612 .000 .503 10.2 2.9 .5 2.6 30.5
L.A. Lakers
8 8 39.4 .510 .000 .466 11.6 2.3 .9 2.9 26.6
L.A. Lakers
23 23 43.5 .566 .000 .456 15.4 3.1 .6 2.4 30.7
L.A. Lakers
16 16 42.3 .555 .000 .525 15.4 3.2 .4 2.4 30.4
L.A. Lakers
19 19 40.8 .529 .000 .649 12.6 2.8 .5 2.5 28.5
L.A. Lakers
12 12 40.1 .535 .000 .621 14.8 3.7 .6 2.8 27.0
L.A. Lakers
22 22 41.7 .593 .000 .429 13.2 2.5 .3 2.8 21.5
13 13 33.2 .558 .000 .472 7.8 1.9 .4 1.5 19.4
23 23 33.0 .612 .000 .374 9.8 1.7 .5 1.5 18.4
4 4 30.3 .559 .000 .333 8.5 1.3 .2 1.5 18.8
5 5 30.0 .440 .000 .500 9.2 1.0 1.0 2.6 15.2
203 203 38.6 .564 .000 .501 12.1 2.8 .6 2.2 25.2



See also


  1. Trophies For Everybody
  3. Bill McMurray, Texas High School All-Time Sports Record Book, 6th Edition.
  4., O'Neal: LSU Hall of Fame, accessed, March 3, 2007
  5. [1]
  7. SUNS: Shaq on Board
  8. : Shaquille O'Neal Bio Page
  9. Career Leaders and Records for Field Goal Pct -
  10. Regular Season Records: Free Throws
  11. Career Leaders and Records for Free Throw Attempts -
  12. Shaq attacks Kobe "TMZ Video" (June 22, 2008)
  13. "Shaquille O'Neal Presents His Superfriends, Vol. 1" review
  16. Shaquille O’Neal, wife splitting up Yahoo News, November 10, 2009
  17. New Jersey to Bon Jovi: You Give Us a Good Name Yahoo News, February 2, 2009
  18. O'Neal's career stats.

Further reading

  • Shaq Talks Back: The Uncensored Word on My Life and Winning in the NBA Hardback (April 10, 2001)
  • Shaq Talks Back: The Uncensored Word on My Life and Winning in the NBA Paperback, Revised (February 18, 2002)
  • A Good Reason to Look Up (1998)
  • Shaq and the Beanstalk and Other Very Tall Tales (1999) Hardcover

External links

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