- Faith: Muslim
- Career: Athlete
- Birthday: March 06, 1972
- Accomplishments: NBA Championship
Shaquille O’Neal, known commonly as Shaq, is a former professional basketball player who’s a sports analyst on the TV program “Inside the NBA.” He’s a 7-foot-1 inch tall and 325-pound center who played for six teams over his 19-year career in the NBA and is a four-time NBA champion. O’Neal is regarded as one of the greatest centers and basketball players of all time.
After playing college basketball at LSU, he was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. He quickly became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992-93 and leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After four years with the Magic,
O’Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers, who won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002. During a feud with his teammate Kobe Bryant, O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004.
His fourth NBA championship followed in 2006. Midway through the 2007-2008 season, O’Neal was traded to the Phoenix Suns in the 2009-10 season. After a season and a half with the Phoenix Suns, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009-10 season. Before retiring, he played for the Boston Celtics in the 2010-11 season. O’Neal’s accolades include the 1999-2000 MVP Award, the 1992-29 Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, and three NBA All-Defensive Team selections.
He’s one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star Game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year; the other players are Willis Reed in 1970 and Michael Jordan in 1996 and 1998. O’Neal ranks 8th all-time in points scored, 6th in field goals, 15th in rebounds, and 8th in blocks. He was honored as one of the league’s greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 50th Anniversary Team in 1996. Due to his ability to score from close range and dunk the basketball, O’Neal also ranks third all-time in field goal percentage and led the league in field goal percentage 10 times. In 2016, he was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The following year, he was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame. He was again honored in 2021 as one of the league’s greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
In addition to basketball, O’Neal has released four rap albums. His first, “Shaq Diesel,” went platinum. He’s also an electronic music producer and touring DJ known as DIESEL. He’s appeared in numerous films and starred in his own reality shows, “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.” He hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq and was a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings from 2013 to 2022. O’Neal is the general manager of Kings Guard Gaming of the NBA 2K League.
What religion is Shaquille O’Neal?
O’Neal was raised by a Baptist mother and Muslim stepfather, saying they taught him both. The Los Angeles Times and Robin Wright, in her book “Rock the Casbah” identified O’Neal as a Muslim. In one interview, he shared that he intended to take the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, known as the Hajj. However, in a separate interview, O’Neal said, “I’m Muslim, I’m Jewish, I’m Buddhist, I’m everybody because I’m a people person.”
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