Shaquille O’Neal had an illustrious 19-year NBA career, playing for six teams during his tenure in the league.
O’Neal became an influential figure on and off the court, even going beyond the sport of basketball to become a celebrity.
It all started in 1992 when the Orlando Magic selected him with the No. 1 overall selection in that year’s NBA draft.
31 years ago today, @shaq The Magic was drafted No. 1️⃣ overall.
The rest was history 💪 pic.twitter.com/KKFI8BAo6G
– NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) 24 June 2023
Fans are remembering this special moment, celebrating O’Neal’s career and time with the Magic.
– 𝕷ಲ್ಯೆ👹🇬🇹 (@IIYoSoyLuisII) 24 June 2023
And then the Magic did what the Magic do best…lose their star players or trade them for their favorite players for “cash rewards”.
— Justin Robert Purser (@jus10p) 24 June 2023
It was wonderful to see him and Penny Hardaway.
— I’m Skelly 👺 (@mynameissgellyy) 24 June 2023
One of the best rookies ever took the league by storm
— Richard Pietrzyk (@richardpietrzyk) 24 June 2023
A lot has happened since that moment, but no one can deny that to this day, he remains one of the best No. 1’s of all time.
Although O’Neal never won with the Magic, he did lead the team to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1995.
Unfortunately, they lost to the inspired Houston Rockets in the championship series, which was considered the beginning of the end for the Shaq in Orlando.
In 295 games with the Magic, O’Neal posted 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.8 blocks per game.
After spending his first four seasons with the Magic, he moved to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he became a three-time NBA champion alongside Kobe Bryant.
O’Neal always felt that his work with the Magic was unfinished and now that he is retired, the prospect of buying the franchise is very attractive to him.
“I’m interested in a specific Florida team” 👀
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) 12 May 2023
If O’Neill could do it, it would be a story of glorious redemption.
However, we’ll have to wait and see if he is able to buy the franchise that originally signed him into the NBA.
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