Shaquille O’Neal is an American retired professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. He was known as the most dominant big man in the National Basketball Association and arguably the single most dominant force to ever appear in the league during his prime.
Would you like to know more interesting facts about him? Take a look!
1.Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born on the 6th of March 1972, in Newark, New Jersey.
2.His parents were Lucille O’Neal and Joe Toney.
3.Shaquille’s mother wanted him to have her last name to keep her family name going.
4.His father was All-State guard in high school who was offered a basketball scholarship to play at Seton Hall.
5.Joe Toney struggled with drug addiction and was imprisoned for drug possession when O’Neal was an infant.
6.Upon his release from prison, he decided not to take parti in Shaquille’s life and instead agreed to relinquish his parental rights to O’Neal’s stepfather, Phillip A. Harrison, a career Army Reserve sergeant.
7.O’Neal remained estranged from his biological father for decades.
8.O’Neal had not spoken with Toney or expressed an interest in establishing a relationship until March 2016, where two met for the first time. O’Neal told his biological father: “I don’t hate you. I had a good life. I had Phil.”
9.Because of his stepfather’s career in the military, the family left Newark, moving to military bases in Germany and Texas.
10.At Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas, O’Neal led his team to a 68–1 record over two years and helped the team win the state championship during his senior year.
11.He attended Louisiana State University for a short while.
12.In 1992, O’Neal dropped out of college during his junior year to enter the NBA, where he played his rookie season with the Orlando Magic.
13.He set a record when he was named Player of the Week during his first week in the NBA.
14.In 1996, O’Neil signed a seven-year, $120 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. This remains the biggest contract in the history of the NBA.
18. Shaq has missed half of his free throws.
19.He made exactly one 3-pointer in his entire career.
20.He recorded the highest maximum vertical reach ever measured in pre-draft workouts. He could extend 12 feet, 5 inches from a standing position.
21.He loves the MMA. He began training in MMA while he was an active pro basketball player, and has publicly stated that he desires to have a legitimate fight against a respected opponent.
27.Shaq is a massive fan of the WWE, and he has appeared on WWE Raw multiple times, one of which included an in-ring confrontation with The Big Show.
28.O’Neal’s tendency to make hook shots earned comparisons to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, inspiring him to wear the same jersey number as Abdul-Jabbar, 33.
29.The unavailability of said number in high school forced him to wear 32 before college.
30.On January 31, 2012, O’Neal was honored as one of the 35 Greatest McDonald’s All-Americans.
31.During the Screen Actors Guild strike of 2000, he was fined by the union for crossing the picket line to perform in a Disney commercial. He was denounced as a scab when he filmed an “I’m going to Disneyland!” spot after winning his first NBA title.
32.He was supposed to be with Biggie Smalls the night the rapper was killed.
33.The two had recorded a song together in 1993.
34.Although he left college early for the NBA as do so many pro athletes, O’Neal has taken his education very seriously over the years. He completed the necessary work to earn his Bachelor’s Degree, and O’Neal also earned a legitimate doctoral degree toward the end of his playing career.