Ten Iconic Moments from Shaq’s Career
To celebrate our ‘Shaq-Packed’ edition of Beckett Basketball, we’ve decided to delve into the ten best moments of The Big Aristotle’s career. No player has shown more physical dominance in the history of the NBA than the great Shaq Daddy, so any top ten list involving Shaq has to have video accompanying it. So here they are, Shaquille O’Neal’s ten iconic moments:
1. Shaq breaks his first backboard
The Big Diesel had incredible power at a very young age. Shaq took down two backboards in his rookie season alone. This one against the New Jersey Nets, his first, was the first of many to come. The move became synonymous with Shaq across his 20 seasons in the league.
2. This dunk
On their way to sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers, O’Neal not only annihilated Portland’s playoff hopes but also the career of Kelvin Cato. R.I.P Kelvin.
3. One of the best rookie year’s ever
In 1992 Shaquille O’Neal was drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic, and the NBA would never be the same. His dominance was felt early, winning the Player of the Week in his first week of playing, becoming the first ever player to accomplish such a feat. That wasn’t the only amazing feat he reached in his rookie season: he was named to the All-Star Game, being the first rookie since Michael Jordan in 1985 to be voted a starter. He finished the season winning Rookie of the Year, averaging 23.4 points per game (8th in the league) at 56.2 FG%, 13.9 rebounds (2nd in the league) and 3.5 blocks per game (3rd in the league).
4. 1999-2000 MVP
In 1999 Phil Jackson and his triangle offense inspired the Big Diesel to take his game to new heights. O’Neal won his first MVP in a season where his team, the Los Angeles Lakers, won the championship and he also won Finals MVP. In the playoffs he averaged 29.7 points (1st in the league), 13.6 rebounds (2nd in the league), 3.8 assists and 3 blocks (3rd in the league).
5. THAT alleyoop
One of Shaq’s finest moments and one of the greatest in Lakers history.
6. 2000 Finals MVP
30.7 points per game, 15.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.4 blocks, your 2000 Finals MVP ladies and gentlemen.
7. 2001 Finals MVP
30.4 points per game, 15.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.4 blocks.
8. 2002 Finals MVP
28.5 points per game, 12.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.5 blocks. Back-to-back-to-back.
9. Shaq helps Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat win their first franchise championship
Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal became instant Heat legends when they led their squad to Miami’s first championship after beating their more favored opponents, the Dallas Mavericks. Despite not being as dominant in the box score, thanks to the rising star of Wade, he still averaged a near double double, 18.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
10. The night he destroyed the Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have been perennially embarrassed by their big brother Lakers, and Shaq continued the trend with a soul-crushing night for Clippers’ fans. He posted 61 points on 24/35 shooting and an equally hefty 23 rebounds. Shaq dominated plenty of teams along the way, none felt such a heavy brunt than the Clippers did on March 6, 2000.