Shaquille O’Neal alias Shaq is an American sports analyst, businessman, and renowned former basketball player. Shaq is considered one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history. He is also a former actor and rapper.
Shaq was one of the heaviest NBA players standing at 7 feet and weighing almost 150kgs. He played as a center for the 19 seasons he played, playing for six teams in the National Basketball Association.
In 1996, he was named in the NBA list of its 50 greatest players of all time. Since he was drafted in his early 20s he dominated the basketball world, helping his team to win NBA Championship.
Shaquille O’Neal Early Life
Shaq was born in Newark, New Jersey, his biological father was a basketball player. However, he never made it to the NBA as he was struggling with drug addiction which led to his arrest and detained.
At the time his father was detained Shaq was just an infant. However, after his father was released he decided to abandon him together with his mother. Shaq was raised by a Jamaican stepfather.
He inherited his height from his parents as his biological father was 6tf 1in and his mother 1.85 m tall. At the age of 16 years, he was 6ft 10in and he had already shown the great potential of becoming a great player.
Shaquille O’Neal Parents
He is the son of Lucille O’Neal and Joe Toney. His father was a high school basketball player, despite his perfect skills he was a drug addict and as a result, he was jailed.
Shaq was raised by a step-father, Phillip A. Harrison an Army sergeant. Shaq never had a close relationship with his biological father as he neglected him after he was released from prison.
Shaquille O’Neal Wife, Divorce and Relationship
He was married to Shaunie Nelson in 2002, however, after seven years of marriage, he filed for divorce on September 4th, 2007. However, Shaunie came out and said they had reconciled and Shaq had already withdrawn the divorce.
In 2009, two years after reconciling, Shaunie filed for a divorce citing irreconcilable differences. After the divorce, he started dating Nicole Alexander, a TV star in summer 2010. The relationship lasted for only two years and they divorced in August 2012.
In early 2014, he started dating Laticia Rolle, a professional model and dated for four years before parting their ways in 2018.
Shaquille O’Neal Kids
Together with his ex-wife, they share four kids together, Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, and Me’arah. In addition, he also has a daughter, Taahirah from his previous relationship with Arnetta Yardbourgh. His eldest son is already playing high school basketball as a power forward.
Shaquille O’Neal Net Worth
He’s one of the richest former NBA players adding his business ventures he has an estimated salary of $400 million.
High school and College Career
He attended high school in San Antonio, Texas where he happened his game. In his senior year, all recruiters’ eyes were all on him. His success came after he lead his team to the State Championship.
He was later admitted to Louisiana State University (LSU). At LSU he was the real deal as well as the best player in the college. He was also named the consensus College Player of the Year in 1991.
Shaq never completed his college career as he dropped out and submitted his name for the NBA draft in 1992. He later went back and completed his studies.
Shaq was drafted in the 1992 NBA draft with the 1st overall pick by the Orlando Magic. One week after his debut he made history after he was named the Player of the Week. He became the first player to earn that title in one week after his debut.
In his first season, he managed to average 23.4 points, 56.2% shooting, 13.9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks. Shaq was subsequently named the 1992-93 NBA Rookies of the Year leading Orlando in a 41-41 record. This was 20 wins better than their previous season.
Four years after he was drafted, he was picked to represent United State in the 1996 Olympics. The tournament was held in Atlanta and the big man gave them a show after helping his team to win the Olympic gold medal.
Prior to his selection to the US national team, he was already a free agent as of the 1995-96 season.
Move to Lakers
H signed with Los Angeles Laker in 1996 under Phil Jackson who was also the new coach of the Lakers. At the end of the 1999-2000 season, he was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
With his perfect skills and exemplary performance in the court, Jackson told him the MVP award should be named after him when he retires. During the same season, he won the scoring title finishing second in rebounds and third in blocked shots.
During the 2002-03 season, he was ruled out of 12 games after sustaining a toe injury. With him on the bench Lakers finished in the fifth-place and failed to qualify in the finals.
Before moving to Miami Heat he has helped the club to win three consecutive NBA Champions (2001,2002, and 2003). In addition, he also scooped the MVP award in those three years.
Shaq moved to Miami Heat in 2004, after several conflicts with his fellow player the late Kobe Bryant which was affecting the team performance. Two years after he was traded he led Miami to the NBA championship in 2006. The win was also Shaq’s fourth Championship as he had already won three with the Laker.
In February 2008, he was again traded to the Phoenix Suns. His career with the Suns was not that smooth as they lost most games. As a result of many losses all the blames were pointed at him. He only played one season with the Suns after an unsuccessful career he was traded to Cleveland Cavaliers in June 2009.
With Cleveland Cavaliers, he played for the 2009-10 season, he was then traded to Boston Celtics in 2010. 2010, he was the oldest player still on the court, however, due to injuries he didn’t get enough playtime.
In 2011, he officially announced his retirement on his social media platforms. In his 19 years career, he had a total career point of 28,596. These points were the seventh-highest total NBA history.
Music and Acting Career
He began his career in Music in 1993 and composed his first album named Shaq Diesel which was released the same year. The album did pretty well as it reached number 25 on the Billboard 200 and the following year reached platinum status.
Before quitting Music he has released four Albums, Shaq Diesel, Shaq Fu, You Can’t Stop the Reign, and Respect.
When it comes to acting he was featured in his first film “Blue Chip” in 1994, a basketball drama. After that, he was featured in an American superhero action film “Steel” in 1997. In 2001 he appeared in “The Wash” “The House Bunny” in 2008 and “Grown Up 2” in 2013.