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    NBA Star & Celebrity

    Towering center Shaquille O’Neal entered the National Basketball Association in 1992 as the first-round draft choice of the Orlando Magic. O’Neal, whose college career at Louisiana State University established his reputation as one of the top half-dozen basketball centers in the world, was virtually an international superstar before he even scored his first professional points. Thanks to multiple product endorsements, movie projects, and rap albums, the engaging O’Neal has reached an audience far beyond the bounds of professional basketball.

    Well shy of his 25th birthday, O’Neal was the top draft choice of 1992, Rookie of the Year in 1993, and the starting center on the All-Star Team in both 1993 and 1994. His seven-year contract with the Magic and lucrative deals with the likes of Pepsi, Reebok, and Kenner Toys made him an estimated $70 million in earnings. And with his help, the expansion Magic franchise–once renowned more for its halftime promotions than for its performance–improved enough to qualify for the 1994 NBA playoffs.

    In 1996, O’Neal became a free agent and accepted a $120 million dollar offer from the LA Lakers. This move had multiple advantages for O’Neal. He could now establish himself as a movie star, rapper and businessman. On the court for the Los Angeles Lakers, O’Neal was a force to be dealt with seriously. He was continuously triple teamed, yet managed to consistently score. In the 2000 season, O’Neal was pure talent. He was on the All-Star team (again) and earned the All-Star MVP. He garnered a spot on the All-Defensive Team, won the scoring title and the league MVP award. When the dust settled, O’Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers were on top, with O’Neal winning his first championship ring, followed by two more consecutive championships and MVP awards in 2001 and 2002 with LA. He went on to win his fourth NBA championship with the Miami Heat in the 2005-06 season, his second year after leaving the Lakers.

    O’Neal finished his career playing for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, retiring officially in June, 2011 at the age of 39, the oldest player in the NBA. A 15-time All-Star, he averaged 24.3 points in the playoffs and 11.6 rebounds. He would retire as fifth all-time in scoring (28,596 points), 12th in rebounds (13,099 rebounds) and second only to Artis Gilmore among players with more than 2,000 baskets with a 58.2% field goal percentage. During his stellar 19-year career he was a three time NBA Finals MVP, won four NBA championships, and was named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in History.

    Shaq is famous for his engaging and sometimes provocative personality. Heat forward LeBron James has said “As big as Shaq is, the way he was with his personality, if he was a complete stranger and you see how big he is, you wouldn’t be afraid to go talk to him because you seen how likable he was.”

    Whether acting in films like Kazaam, producing his own rap albums, challenging celebrities on his hit show Shaq Vs., studying for his PhD, conducting the Boston Pops orchestra, hosting Saturday Night Live, or serving as a reserve police officer, Shaq has led a rollicking life.

    In his candid new autobiography Shaq Uncut, readers will hear first-hand about his colorful career, NBA victories, his thoughts on Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, LeBron James, and Pat Riley, and so much more. The book is scheduled to hit stores November 15, 2011.


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    Suggested Speaking Programs:

    • An Evening with Shaquille O′Neal




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    Suggested Speaking Programs:

    • An Evening with Shaquille O′Neal