O'Neal, Shaquille (Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal) [key], 1972–, American basketball player, b. Newark, N.J. Joining the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1992, he was the 1993 NBA rookie of the year. Huge and intimidating on the court but personable off, “Shaq” quickly demonstrated charisma and immense commercial appeal. In 1996 he moved to the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won the NBA's most valuable player award in 2000. That year the Lakers won the first of three consecutive championships, and O'Neal was named NBA Finals MVP each year. He was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, and helped lead the team to an NBA championship two years later. In 2008 he was traded to the Phoenix Suns and the following year to the Cleveland Cavaliers; he joined the Boston Celtics in 2010, and retired in 2011. O'Neal scored 28,596 points during his career, the fifth highest in NBA history.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Sports: Biographies