Shaquille O'Neal, in full Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal, byname Shaq, (born March 6, 1972, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.), American basketball player, named in 1996 to the National Basketball Association (NBA) rundown of its 50 biggest players ever.
As a secondary school senior in San Antonio, Texas, O'Neal pulled in the attention of college scouts when his group won the state championship. He went to Louisiana State University (LSU), where he immediately settled himself as one of the best players in the nation. He was named the consensus College Player of the Year in 1991. O'Neal left school and entered the NBA draft in 1992 and was taken with the main pick by the Orlando Magic. In 2000, however, he completed his investigations and earned a degree from LSU.
Named NBA Rookie of the Year in 1992–93, O'Neal drove the Magic to a 41–41 record, 20 wins superior to the previous season. After two years he won the scoring title and drove Orlando to the finals against the Houston Rockets. After Houston's scope of the Magic, O'Neal developed a reputation for losing defining moments. O'Neal's extraordinary size and quality—he stood 7 feet 1 inch (2.16 meters) tall and gauged 315 pounds (143 kg)— made him for all intents and purposes impossible to stop on the offensive end of the court. He was, however, a poor free-throw shooter, and opponents adopted a methodology (known as "Hack-a-Shaq") of intentionally fouling him, knowing that he was more averse to make free throws than to score a field goal.
O'Neal was an individual from the U.S. Olympic basketball crew that won the gold award in 1996, that year he joined the Los Angeles Lakers, where he cooperated with blossoming whiz Kobe Bryant. Although O'Neal continued to dominate on offense, his groups continued to disappoint in the play-offs. That changed in 1999–2000, when, under new Lakers coach Phil Jackson, he turned into the alliance's Most Valuable Player (MVP). At Jackson's encouraging, O'Neal turned out to be more of a cooperative person, giving unique consideration to his guard, rebounding, and free-throw shooting. Therefore, he drove the Lakers to championships in 2001, 2002, and 2003, catching the finals MVP grant every year.
In 2004—following quite a while of on-and-off fighting with Bryant, which had become a major distraction inside the Lakers organization—O'Neal was exchanged to the Miami Heat. There he collaborated with the gifted young watchman Dwyane Wade to lead Miami to a NBA championship in 2006. Wounds constrained O'Neal's production over the following seasons, and he was exchanged to the Phoenix Suns in February 2008. O'Neal's playing style did not blend well with the Suns' up-tempo game, and—in spite of having had an exceptionally solid 2008–09 season—he was managed to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009 as Phoenix started a modifying process. He marked with the Boston Celtics in 2010, yet an Achilles tendon damage restricted his play. O'Neal resigned after the 2010–11 season. His career totals incorporate 28,596 points (the seventh most elevated total in NBA history at the season of his retirement) and 15 All-Star Game selections. O'Neal was enlisted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.
O'Neal had restricted accomplishment as a rapper and as an actor, featuring in such component films as Blue Chips (1994), Kazaam (1996), and Steel (1997). He voiced himself in the computer-energized The LEGO Movie (2014). His gregarious personality and appeal made him a popular pitchman throughout his career and helped him to become a commentator on a NBA television studio show after his retirement.