Shaquille O’Neal is one of the biggest and scariest looking people on Earth. However, he has a heart of gold and is one of the funniest people you’ll ever meet.
During his NBA career, O’Neal intimidated his opponents with his 7-foot-1 stature and Superman-like strength. The former No. 1 overall pick is universally recognized as the most dominant player in NBA history.
Since retiring from the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal has made headlines for his knack of bashing current players, particularly big men. However, many people don’t know that when he’s not working for TNT, O’Neal makes people smile and happy.
Shaquille O’Neal was a monster during his prime
The Orlando Magic drafted Shaquille O’Neal with the first overall pick in the 1992 draft out of LSU. O’Neal averaged 23.4 points and 13.9 rebounds as a rookie and won the 1992-93 Rookie of the Year Award.
During his four seasons with the Magic, O’Neal made the All-Star team each year. He put up 27.2 points and 12.5 rebounds in 295 games with Orlando. The Magic made the Finals in 1995, but the team got swept by the Houston Rockets.
In the summer of 1996, O’Neal signed with the LA Lakers in free agency. It was in LA where Shaq established himself as an all-time great. He won three titles with Kobe Bryant and three Finals MVPs. O’Neal also won the 1999-00 MVP award.
In 514 games with the Lakers, O’Neal averaged 27.0 points and 11.8 rebounds. His tenure in LA ended in July of 2004 when the Lakers traded the big fella to the Miami Heat. O’Neal and Bryant’s relationship had hit an impasse.
O’Neal and Dwyane Wade helped the Heat win the 2006 championship over the Dallas Mavericks. The Big Aristotle averaged 19.6 points and 9.1 rebounds with the Heat.
Once O’Neal got traded to the Phoenix Suns, he was no longer a superstar in the NBA. The Big Diesel also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics before an Achilles injury forced him to retire.
In 2016, Shaquille O’Neal was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He finished his NBA career with averages of 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds. Shaq Daddy has a net worth of over $400 million, and in typical O’Neal fashion, the 15-time All-Star uses it to help people, even if they are strangers.
Shaquille O’Neal helped a stranger by paying for his engagement ring
Shaquille O’Neal was recently at Zales looking for earrings. When he saw a shy man asking the cashier how much it would cost to pay off his engagement ring, O’Neal whipped out his credit card and paid for the ring.
This isn’t the first time O’Neal has done special deeds for strangers. The NBA legend enjoys helping people in need and is basically like a big teddy bear. People who cover the NBA have witnessed O’Neal do countless favors for people when the cameras aren’t rolling.
Shaquille O’Neal may be too hard on some of the stars of today. However, no one can deny the giving personality and caring heart he has.
Shaq’s nickname for Kobe Bryant was ‘young fella’
Shaquille O’Neal gave a moving speech at Kobe Bryant’s memorial at Staples Center in 2020. There will never be another duo like Kobe and Shaq.
O’Neal used to call Bryant “young fella” when they were on the Lakers together. LA retired Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys and O’Neal’s No. 34 jersey at Staples Center. They will forever be linked to each other.
Kobe Bryant wound up winning five titles with the Lakers. He made it a point to get one more ring than Shaquille O’Neal, who finished with four.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.