Shaquille O’Neal, NBA legend, celebrates his 50th birthday

There hasn't been such a dominant center in the NBA in recent years as it was Shaquille O'Neal for 19 seasons. Today, the now analyst of NBA on T

There hasn’t been such a dominant center in the NBA in recent years as it was Shaquille O’Neal for 19 seasons. Today, the now analyst of NBA on TNT turns 50.

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born on March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey. and at 13 years old he was already 1.98 meters tall. Because his stepfather was in the military, the NBA legend spent part of his childhood and adolescence between Germany and Texas.

After attending Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas, O’Neal decided to join the LSU Tigers to play for three years.. During his time in Louisiana, the center was twice named an All-American and twice won the SEC player of the year award.

In 1992, Shaq signed up for the NBA Draft and was drafted with the first overall pick by the Orlando Magic.. His rookie campaign was so dominant (23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots) that he won Rookie of the Year and was the first rookie to be voted the All-Star Game starter since Michael Jordan in 1985. .

In his third year as a professional, O’Neal led the Magic to the NBA Finals, but they were swept by Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston Rockets. During the regular season, he was second in the MVP voting, behind David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs.

O’Neal’s contract with the Magic ended in 1996 and in the summer he was part of the USA Basketball team that won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics. The pivot announced at the beginning of the summer competition that he would sign a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Installed in LA, lhe early years were rocky as the Western Conference was dominated by Robinson and the Spurs and Shaq didn’t quite hit it off with a young Kobe Bryant. However, with the turn of the millennium and the addition of Phil Jackson as head coach, things changed.

In the 1999-2000 season, O’Neal was named the NBA MVP. and came close to being unanimous by one vote. ‘The Big Aristotle’ posted averages of 29.7 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and three blocks per game.

In that season, the center won his first NBA championship by beating the Indiana Pacers and his first NBA Finals MVP due to his 38 points and 16.7 rebounds per game. The Lakers completed their triple-header of championships by beating the Philadelphia 76ers in 2001 and the New Jersey Nets in 2002; in those finals, O’Neal was also the MVP.

His mastery in painting was so great that the NBA modified its regulations for the 2001-02 season in order that the teams could implement zone defense.

Over the years, the relationship with Bryant soured and the Lakers preferred to keep the shooting guard on the roster instead of the center. O’Neal was traded in 2004 to the Miami Heat for Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and a first-round pick.

In its second season under the orders of Pat Riley and with Dwayne Wade as main star, O’Neal won his fourth NBA championship. by beating Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks in six games.

His decline commented on his third season with the Heat, 2006-07, since he averaged 17.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. After three and a half years in Miami, O’Neal was traded to the Phoenix Suns.

In the 2009-10 campaign, he joined LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in search of a fifth ring., but lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinal. The following year, he signed for the Celtics, but only played 36 games and retired after 19 years as an NBA player.

Finally, in 2016, five years after his retirement, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. For life, O’Neal was a 15-time All-Star, a 14-time All-NBA Team member, a three-time All-Defensive Team member, and a two-time NBA scoring champion.

outside of basketball

His outgoing attitude made him a rapper and an actor. Some of his biggest hits as a rapper are (I Know I Got) Skillz and Shoot Pass Slam.

As an actor, his first role was in Blue Chipsstarring Nick Nolte, where he played Neon Boudeaux, a prospect capable of reversing the status of a losing team led by Nolte.

With his move to Los Angeles in 1996, his Hollywood career exploded he won his first leading role to play Kazaam, a genie tasked with protecting a boy by granting him three wishes. In 1997, he became the DC Comics superhero Steel.

Although he left LSU to participate in the Draft, ‘Diesel’ returned to college and in 2000 earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies and a minor in political science.. In 2005, she earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix and in 2012 she earned a Ph.D. in Education from Barry University.