Career Achievements By Shaquille O’Neal: Shaquille O’Neal is a four-time NBA champion, one of the ten most productive basketball players in the history of the League, he was recognized as the MVP of the regular season, final series, and All-Star Games, he still did not realize his potential by 100%. There were always increased requirements for him – nature gave him too generous a portion of health and talent.
Career Achievements By Shaquille O’Neal
Born on 03/06/1972
- “Orlando Magic” (1992-1996).
- “Los Angeles Lakers” (1996-2004).
- Miami Heat (2004-2008).
- Phoenix Suns (2008-2009).
- “Cleveland Cavaliers” (2009-2010).
- Boston Celtics (2010-2011).
- NBA champion 2000-2002, 2006.
- Olympic champion in 1996.
- World Champion 1994.
- 2000 NBA Regular Season Most Valuable Player.
- 2000-2002 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
- 2000, 2004, 2009 NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player.
- 8 hits in the 1st NBA All-Star Team (1998, 2000-2006).
- Participated in 15 NBA All-Star Games (1993-1998, 2000-2007, 2009).
- The most productive player of the NBA regular championships in 1995, 2000.
- Most Valuable Player of the 1994 World Cup.
From childhood, O’Neill was a large and physically gifted child. It would be foolish to miss the chance to become an athlete, and Shaquille chose basketball. Playing for the school team, he becomes the state champion and soon enters the university, which opens his way to the NCAA – the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
O’Neal quickly became a Louisiana State University team leader, twice named to the All-Star Team, and was named NCAA Player of the Year in 1991. The further career development scenario is clear – the NBA. Shaquille was selected first overall in the 1992 draft by the Orlando Magic.
The Wizards made their NBA debut in 1989 and were league underdogs for the first few seasons. With the advent of the young center, there were considerable hopes, and O’Neal from the first matches began to work out the advances given to him.
At the end of the season, Shaquille stepped over the average grandmaster in points (20) and rebounds (10). He was invited to the All-Star Game and, at the end of the 1992/1993 season, became the best newcomer of the Association.
Shaquille’s style of play is amazing – despite his size, he is light enough for a center, runs into fast breaks, demonstrating a bright attacking game. Obviously, the League has a superstar player in the near future. It is impossible not to notice his talent, and after O’Neill breaks the shield after a spectacular dunk, increased attention is riveted to him.
The 1993/1994 season becomes historic for Orlando. For the first time in its history, the team advances to the playoffs. Before the start of the season, Shaquille gets an excellent assistant – a young attacking defender Anferni Hardaway comes to the club, who has become the leader of the backline. Yesterday’s rookies form an excellent bunch and force everyone in the NBA to reckon with Orlando.
The peak of the young team came the next season – O’Neill and Hardaway finally played, an experienced Horace Grant appeared, and the Wizards went uphill. Having convincingly performed in the regular season, Orlando moved no less confidently through the playoff bracket. The power of the Magic is evidenced by the fact that the legendary Chicago, led by Michael Jordan, was defeated in the final of the East.
The hour-X has come – the final against Houston, which became the champion of the NBA a year earlier. The most difficult and responsible task fell on O’Neill – he was opposed by the leader of the opponent and the recognized star of the Association, Hakim Olajuwon, who is at the peak of his career.
Despite approximately the same scores, Hakim completely outplayed his younger colleague. First of all, Olajuwon surpassed Shaquille on defense, cementing the three-second zone. So O’Neal got a great lesson for the future and understood what the standards of playing a top-class center were.
It seemed that next year would be Orlando’s season, but Jordan, who finally got into shape, stopped the daring youth, and the season for O’Neal and company ended a little earlier. However, the summer of 1996 still gave victory to Shaquille – as part of the Dream Team, he becomes the Olympic champion and goes to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the 90s, after the departure of Magic Johnson from basketball, the legendary club is going through hard times. O’Neal comes to a frankly average team, but with great financial ability and ambition.
Together with him, his long-term partner Kobe Bryant appears on the team, and the Lakers are starting to slowly go uphill. Shaquille becomes a more sophisticated craftsman. Having gained mass, he becomes the NBA’s most effective player under the rim.
The first two seasons in Los Angeles end the same way – the Lakers’ road on the way to the finals is cut off by experienced Utah with their leaders – Malone and Stockton. The 1998/1999 season, shortened due to the lockout, again does not bring success to the Lakers – this time the barrier was put up by San Antonio with a double center Robinson- Duncan.
The Lakers leadership was completely disappointed in coach Harris, and Phil Jackson moved to Los Angeles. Winning coach and led the Los Angeles team to success. Bryant finally turned into a star, excellent role-players appeared – Fisher, Orry, Rice, Harper, and O’Neal became simply inaccessible.
Its dimensions allowed to reign in the three-second zone. If Shaquille got the ball under the ring, he beat anyone one-on-one. Then two options were possible – either the ball ended up in the basket, or O’Neal got on the penalty line, with which, however, things were not going well with him.
It’s not hard to guess that with a dominant center, an elite number two, and a group of reliable role players, the Lakers had the best roster in the NBA. Add to this a brilliant coach who streamlined the actions of such a company, and we get three championships in a row.
Certainly, 2000-2002 are O’Neill’s best years. Zamaterev, he first of all added in defense. Perhaps only Duncan, who was gaining momentum, could beat him one-on-one under the ring – and then, due to cunning and reaction. Nobody could compare in physical strength with Shaquille. In 2000, O’Neal became the most valuable player in the NBA, and he won the title of playoff MVP in all championship seasons.
Meanwhile, despite the victories, relations between the two main stars of the team – O’Neal, and Bryant – are becoming increasingly tense. Kobe clearly wants to be first fiddle but understands that Shaquille is still the more important player for the team.
O’Neal missed the start of the 2002/2003 season due to injury, and the Lakers predictably sank. It became obvious that without Shaquille, Los Angeles was becoming a lower-level team. Still, Kobe is not a Jordan to drag the team alone without a strong center.
In the playoffs, the Lakers were eliminated in the second round, and San Antonio again acted as the offender – Tim Duncan became the undisputed leader of the team, and Robinson, who spent the last season in the League, gave all his strength in the fight against O’Neal.
Plus, strengthened by Parker and Ginobili, the Texans also did not lose to Bryant and the company on the backline. As it turned out, the composition of the Lakers is still not the most balanced – two stars are not enough, and the role players are not good enough to help in difficult times.
Los Angeles started the 2003/2004 season with perhaps the best roster in NBA history. Shaquille and Kobe were joined by veteran star veterans who decided to leave their teams to become champions with the Lakers. Karl Malone and Gary Payton, it seemed, should have strengthened the balance of the team game.
On paper, everything looked exactly like this – now the opponent must take into account four effective attacking options at once. Experts agreed that the Lakers were the clear favorite. But they did not take into account one thing – when there are many stars in one team, it is not a fact that a star team is formed.
Formally, O’Neal, who was increasingly failing in his health, remained the No. 1 player. Perhaps the reason for this was the weight gained, including the extra one, but injuries began to haunt Shaquille. Add to that Malone’s super-veteran age and the Lakers’ front line were anything but flawless.
Detroit players took advantage of this in the final. A team without superstars, but well-equipped, sensationally defeated Los Angeles 4-1. Pistons center Ben Wallace did what no one else had done in a long time – turned off O’Neal. Malone and Payton, due to their age, could no longer play the main roles, and Bryant did not extend the series.
The conflict between Shaquille and Kobe reached its climax, and the leadership of the Lakers had to make a difficult choice. As a result, they believed in Bryant – good, age and health spoke in his favor, and O’Neal was exchanged for three Miami players. On top of that, the Lakers received a higher level of picks in the next draft.
Shaquille longed for new victories and, first of all, upon arrival in Miami, he promised that he would make the club of the same name a champion. This statement inspired optimism among the fans of the Heat. Despite increasingly emerging health problems, O’Neal was still the best center in the NBA.
However, Shaquille’s performance declined, after all, he was already 32 years old. He became virtually the team’s second option in attack after the brightly revealed shooting guard Dwyane Wade. O’Neal spent 30 minutes on the court instead of the 40 he had during his time with the Lakers, but his game was still effective, especially when building defensive teamwork.
Shaquille could not keep his word the first time. In the Eastern Conference Finals, his new team was stopped by Detroit. God loves a trio—and O’Neal did beat the Pistons a third time in 2006, leading his team to the playoff finals in which Miami defeated Dallas. So Shaquille became a four-time NBA champion and for the last time in his career got into the first team of all-stars.
Further, Shaquille’s career began to decline – injuries finally unsettled him. The statistics also dropped significantly, and as a result, during the 2007/2008 season, O’Neal moved to the Phoenix Suns.
The next season was O’Neill’s best statistically in four years. He even played 75 games in the regular season, which hasn’t happened in a very long time. As a result, Shaquille was again invited to the All-Star Game. Moreover, he becomes his MVP.
O’Neal seemed to have a few more good years ahead of him, but at the end of the season, the Suns changed him to Cleveland. Shaquille gets into a team that has a real chance of winning the League, but, having won the regular season, the Cavaliers are inferior to Boston, which O’Neal joins in the summer of 2010.
The star veterans team was still listed in the Association, but the injuries again made themselves feel. Shaquille’s statistics have reached the lowest levels in their entire career – in the regular season, O’Neal played only 37 matches, in which he averaged 9.2 points.
On June 1, 2011, O’Neal announced his retirement. Shaquille realized that injuries would not give him the opportunity to return to a serious level, and playing for 15-20 minutes and scoring 5-10 points was not solid for him.
Numerous awards, great stats, spectacular and efficient playing style – in all respects, he is the greatest player in the Association. But there is a feeling that he could become the best center in history and not one of them, if not for constant injuries and excess weight.