Shaquille O’Neal Spotlight

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Shaquille O'Neil in his early days of his career playing for the Phoenix Suns

On March 6, 1982, a basketball legend was born. On that day, future basketball star Shaquille O’Neal was born. Shaquille, also known as “Shaq”, had somewhat of a rough childhood, going through some tough times during his youthful years. When O’Neal was just a tiny little infant, his dad, Joseph Toney, was arrested for possession of drugs. As a result, the man was imprisoned and thrown in jail for a long time. The father figure in O’Neal’s home was replaced by Phillip A. Harrison, a farmer and retired sergeant of the Army. This means that for the vast majority of his life, Shaquille O’Neal did not know he had a living biological father. In fact, in those many years, O’Neal and his family simply assumed that he had died. This, however, did not stop him from becoming the man he is today.

O’Neal attended Louisiana State University, or LSU, for three years, 1989 to 1992. During his few years in college, he studied business. However, he eventually left his university to pursue his career in the NBA. This would be the start of his great journey to become one of the best and most famous and well-known players in the NBA’s history.

His career kicked off when, in 1992, he was drafted by the Orlando Magic as the 1st overall pick. In the NBA, his most significant feature was his enormous height, with O’Neal rocking an astonishing height of 7’1. He would play for the team of Orlando Magic for four years, scoring shot after shot for the team. He was doing so well that his team crushed the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks in the 1996 NBA playoffs. Soon he would begin getting fame and glory for his skills, but this was only the beginning of his inspiring career.

 At this point, O’Neal’s reputation and status in the NBA community were rising rapidly. The man’s skills at the sport were incredible, and people began to take major notice of it. Shaquille O’Neal’s career had skyrocketed, so he decided to continue his job in the sport of basketball, joining teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and the Phoenix Suns. He had gotten wins after wins for the teams he played for. However, he was soon starting to get bored with the sport, even though he was being recognized and praised for his talents. Shaq soon decided it would be best for himself and others, that he retired. And he did so, as he announced his long-awaited retirement on June 1, 2011. Shaq ended up playing for a total of 19 years, starting when he was just around 20 years old, and ending when he was around 39 years. Surprisingly, he still has quite a successful life, compared to other NBA athletes.

Many NBA athletes run out of money soon after quitting the NBA. However, Shaq is an exception, as, according to the website, “Money.com”, “Shaq now makes more each year than the $30 million salaries he earned playing in the NBA, he said in an interview for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” O’Neal has been doing very well these days, relaxing in his retirement, maintaining his fame, and even going back to school and earning a doctorate in Human Resource Development. The biggest thing though is how he is still earning lots of cash. According to NBC Sports, in addition to his over $30 million salary each year, “He is the joint owner of 155 Five Guys Burgers restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants, 150 car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas nightclubs.” It’s evident that O’Neal is doing pretty well right now, and is nowhere near the state of other broke former NBA players. Shaq is enjoying his best life around the U.S., where he has bought houses in many states. Overall, Shaquille O’Neal was an outstanding basketball player who will, without a doubt, go down as one of the greatest players in the NBA’s history.