MoneyINC Logo
Years of

20 Things You Didn't Know About Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal, a name synonymous with basketball dominance, has intrigued fans with his on-court prowess, multifarious off-court ventures, and personality quirks. Here are twenty lesser-known facts about Shaq, shedding light on the depth and diversity of his life and career.

Dominance from the Start

Shaquille O'Neal's tenure at Louisiana State University (LSU) was marked by a meteoric rise to prominence from his very first year. Initially making a splash as a freshman, O'Neal's sophomore year catapulted him to national attention.

In the 1990-91 season, he averaged an astounding 27.6 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game, leading the nation in rebounds and earning him the SEC Player of the Year, a consensus First Team All-American spot, and the SEC All-Defense honors.

The Dream Team Snub

In 1992, despite his burgeoning talent and eligibility, O'Neal was controversially omitted from the original Dream Team roster for the Olympics. This decision was a significant point of contention and disappointment for him, fueling his competitive spirit and drive for success in the subsequent stages of his career.

Collegiate Challenges

Despite O'Neal's brilliance at LSU, his teams experienced limited success in the NCAA Tournament. They never advanced past the second round during his tenure, reflecting a gap between individual and team achievements in collegiate basketball.

Early Aversion to Alcohol

O'Neal's early dislike for alcohol was shaped by an unpleasant experience enforced by his father. The early life lesson ironically did not prevent him from endorsing his line of vodka later in his career, showcasing his complex relationship with the substance.

Friction with Kobe Bryant

Shaq's relationship with Kobe Bryant is a well-documented saga of NBA history. Their tenure together on the Los Angeles Lakers was marked by both on-court success and off-court discord, which overshadowed some of the team's achievements with their feud.

Career Beyond the NBA

Shaq's NBA journey spanned six teams, demonstrating his adaptability and influence across the league. His ability to remain a central figure in multiple teams underscores his significant impact on the sport​​.

A Singular Three-Point Achievement

O'Neal's NBA career featured exactly one successful 3-point shot, underscoring his traditional focus on paint dominance rather than perimeter shooting. The moment remains a notable anecdote in his storied career.

Vertical Leap Record

Shaq's pre-draft workouts revealed his exceptional athletic ability, recording the highest maximum vertical reach ever measured at the time—12 feet, 5 inches.

Law Enforcement Ambitions

Shaq's affinity for law enforcement is well-known. He participates in training and serves as an honorary U.S. Deputy Marshal. These efforts reflect his commitment to community service and interests outside of sports.

MMA Enthusiast

Beyond basketball, Shaq has a well-documented interest in mixed martial arts (MMA). He trained during his NBA days and expressed a desire to compete.

Moreover, his interest in MMA led to many fans watching MMA games. The recent legalization of sports betting in various states also contributed to this increasing interest in the sport. Fans interested in betting on MMA can check the Best DFS Sites for betting options.

Platinum Rap Career

Shaq's transition into the music industry was a testament to his diverse talents and a demonstration of his capability to reach the pinnacle in arenas other than basketball.

Filmography and Rap Albums

Shaq's career in entertainment includes four rap albums and several movie roles, contributing to a diverse portfolio that spans sports, music, and cinema.

Decorated Athlete

Shaq has won multiple NBA championships, an MVP award, and several All-Star appearances, solidifying Him as one of the most decorated athletes in the sport's history.

WWE Appearances

Shaq's entertainment appeal extended to WWE, where his appearances, including a memorable encounter with The Big Show, showcased his flair for showmanship and cross-platform appeal.

Hook Shot and Number 33

Inspired by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaq sought to emulate Abdul-Jabbar's iconic hook shot and wear the number 33 to honor his legacy, paying homage to one of the game's greats.

Academic Pursuits

Despite leaving LSU early for the NBA, Shaq highly valued education. He later completed his Bachelor's Degree and earned a doctoral degree, showcasing his commitment to lifelong learning.

Family Life

Raised in a diverse religious household, Shaq's openness about his family, including his marriage and children, highlights his role as a committed family man.

Real Estate Ventures

In addition to his sports and entertainment careers, Shaq has delved into real estate, demonstrating his business acumen and investment insight.

Charitable Endeavors

Through his work with the Safe Surfin’ Foundation, among other initiatives, Shaq has dedicated efforts to making a positive impact off the court, emphasizing his commitment to philanthropy.

Unique Nicknames:

Shaq's various nicknames, from "The Big Aristotle" to "Shaq Fu," reflect his multifaceted personality and diverse interests, contributing to his status as one of sports' most memorable figures.

Final words

These facts reveal Shaquille O'Neal's persona as multifaceted and deeply engaging, extending far beyond his undeniable basketball legacy. His life and career encompass a breadth of achievements and interests, from sports to entertainment and beyond, each reflecting the unique character of one of basketball's most unforgettable figures.

You can also read:

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

Related Articles

Stay ahead of the curve with our most recent guides and articles on , freshly curated by our diligent editorial team for your immediate perusal.
As featured on:

Wealth Insight!
Subscribe to our Exclusive Newsletter

Dive into the world of wealth and extravagance with Money Inc! Discover stock tips, businesses, luxury items, and travel experiences curated for the affluent observer.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram