Shaquille O'Neal: biography
Shaquille O'Neal is a person, whose name is very popular in the history of basketball. He has played more than 1400 matches in National Basketball Association. But, despite the weaknesses used by opponents in special tactics, the player entered the list of the best players.
Childhood and youth
The father of the future athlete was arrested for possession of drugs in 1972. Tony O'Neal was in prison but he refused his father's duties in favor of Phillip A. Harrison, the new husband of Shaquille's mother when he was out of jail. This man replaced the boy's father.
He forgot his father's grudges soon. Shaquille said:
"I don't despise you. I had a happy childhood thanks to Phillip."
Shaquille was born in Newark. His stepfather served in the military and therefore his family often had to move. His family lived in Texas, where Shaquille received a secondary education. The beginning of his sports career began here.
Shaquille played for the school team, he won a lot and achieved the title of the champion of Texas for two years. O'Neal went to university. Nowadays, there is a statue, depicting a famous graduate, near the building of the main university in Louisiana.
O'Neal is 7 feet (216 cm) tall. His weight is 324 lbs (147 kg). But it is not enough to win the title. He did not take the first place in the center rankings, the title of the best player belonged to Wilton Chamberlain, who is a four-time champion of NBA. O'Neal is not perfect. He can not be called the most significant player. However, his explosive force and power allowed Shaquille to hold the record, his highest percentage of hits, which lasted for nine seasons.
O'Neal made his first performance in the Orlando Magic on a professional level. Then the basketball player was about 20 but he managed to become famous, playing for the university team. American people take student games seriously. Crucial university matches attract as much attention as the NBA playoff. But then no one could imagine the successful future of the player in the early 90s.
The guy with a growth of 7 feet (216 cm) was named the best aspiring player of the League and is remembered as the giant, who managed to destroy the backboard quickly in the first season. The club first got into the playoffs thanks to O'Neal. And Shaquille managed to bring the Orlando Magic to the final in the third season. However, there was a defeat. O'Neal failed to get the title of the champion as a part of the Orlando Magic. Nevertheless, the game was remembered by the fans and some throws are not forgotten now.
There were disputes regarding the amount of the agreement four years after the debut game and the Lakers used it. There was amount of $121 million in the contract. There was the brightest period in the sports biography of O'Neal in the second half of the '90s. He didn't get any title for the first three years in the Lakers. Shaquille met Phil Jackson.
In 1999, the Lakers was transformed thanks to the efforts of the coach. O'Neal played a leading role, successfully interacting with Kobe Bryant during the matches. There were disagreements between the players outside the court. O'Neal thought that the quarterback did too much during the game. Bryant was not satisfied with the defense of Shaquille O`Neal`s physical form, which he had after the vacation.
In 2003, O'Neal promised Jackson not to conflict with Kobe. The team reached the final, which was not prevented by any injury to Karl Malone, the intense discussion of the extension of the contract, the requirement of the coach to increase wages. However, the team showed itself from the best side in the competition with the Detroit Pistons. O'Neal went to the Miami Heat. Bryant remained loyal to the Los Angeles club. Soon the players were on the court as rivals.
Fans called the meeting of O'Neal and Bryant "Christmas battle" at the end of 2004. It was a fierce battle, in which the Lakers lost with a small difference. The team, in which Shaquille played, received the title two years later. Kobe had a lot of victories at the same time. It is not known what brilliant results these players would have achieved if they had managed to communicate well.
Free throws are a weakness of many good players. But Shaquille managed to make a record. One day he did not hit even once, having made 11 free throws during the match. O'Neal explains his mistakes like this: there are no perfect people. In 2008, Shaquille moved to the Phoenix Suns. He took fifth place soon.
Shaquille played as a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers, in which he was injured, which later became the main reason for his retirement in the 2009-2010 season. But it was announced about Shaquille`s retirement only in 2011. He signed a contract that brought him $1.4 million. He missed more than forty games because of his injury in the Boston Celtics. There was a message about his leaving the sport on the page of O'Neal on "Twitter" in June.
Shaquille didn't waste his millions. In the early 90s, he made good investments. He invested his money in such developing companies as Apple, General Electric, Pepsi Co. But players often go bankrupt after five or six years after leaving the sport.
O'Neal earned about 290 million. In the early '90s, a grateful son bought his parents a house and a car, spending a million. Shaquille handled his finances carefully in the future.
The basketball player invested in developing companies, in the newly opening fitness clubs, he signed contracts with advertising companies. He said once:
"I`m tired of hearing about money. I want to play basketball, wear Reeboks, drink Pepsi."
The athlete seemed sincere and open, saying this phrase.
He became famous thanks to his victories on the basketball court. Shaquille attracted the attention of the court and during his participation in a television show. His frivolous image holds the attention of the viewers but probably it has little to do with real Shaquille, who received a degree in 2012.
O'Neal has a gigantic height and size. It is not easy to find the shoes for him: he has a 23rd size (Russian size is the 56th size). O'Neal starred in 36 movies and TV series. He often has episodic roles.
Shaquille's mother attended a Baptist Church. His stepfather attended a mosque. There was a note in the press, in which it was spoken about belonging of the basketball player to Islam. O'Neal commented on this post:
"I am Muslim, Jew, Buddhist. I'm human."
In 2002, the athlete married Shaunie Nelson. O'Neal has four children, he has an illegitimate daughter from Arnetta Yardbourgh, with whom he had an affair before his marriage. His sons are fond of basketball. He sometimes puts videos of his sons on social networks. In 2007, there were rumors about the disputes between Shaquille and Shaunie. The media even reported about their upcoming divorce but O'Neal lived with his wife for another two years. Today the athlete is single.
In 2010, there was the photo of giant O'Neal and a TV star Nicole Alexander. The growth of the girl is 5,1 feet (157 cm). However, the tall and stately lady will turn into Thumbelina next to Shaquille. She lived in O'Neal`s luxurious mansion for two years, which is located in Sudbury and then she disappeared from his life.
The basketball player published his five autobiographical books. His last book was released in 2011.
Shaquille O'Neal now
Today the athlete pays more time to the cinema. In 2017, three movies were released with his participation and he starred in the comedy Uncle Drew in 2018. O'Neal participates in advertising campaigns. Shaquille O'Neal has a net worth of $400 million.
In 2018, Code Media planned to release several models of augmented reality glasses. It is not known when the devices will appear in stores but they make their consumers interested in these devices. After all, Shaquille O'Neal tried on these glasses.
Awards and achievements
- 1995 – The Most Productive Player of NBA
- 1996 – Gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics
- 2000 – NBA champion
- 2000 – The Most Valuable NBA Player
- 2001 – NBA champion
- 2000 – The Most Valuable NBA Player
- 2006 – NBA Championship