Historic Player: Shaquille “The Diesel” O’Neal
There’s a reason they call this man “The Diesel”. Standing at 7’1”, 325 lbs and a BMI (body mass index) of 31.6, I think “The Freight Train” would be a better nickname.
Career Stats: 23.7ppg, 10.9rpg, 2.5apg, 2.3bpg
Percentages: 58.2 FG%, 4.5 3P%, 52.7 FT%
4x NBA Champion
3x NBA Finals MVP
1x NBA MVP
15x NBA All Star
3x NBA All Star Game MVP
8x All-NBA First Team
2x All-NBA Second Team
4x All-NBA Third Team
3x NBA All-Defensive Second Team
1x NBA Rookie of the Year
2x NBA Scoring Champion
Shaq didn’t need any time to settle into NBA, after being drafted 1st overall by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA Draft. Within his first week, he was named the ‘Player of the Week’ for the Eastern Conference, and by the end of the season, he was top 10 in the league for scoring, rebounds, blocks and shooting percentage.
“The Diesel” demonstrated physical play throughout his entire career, establishing himself as the most dominant low-post presence in NBA history. His key moves included his signature drop-step (nicknamed the “Black Tornado”) which often resulted in a high percentage dunk, as well as his right-handed post hook.
His main weakness was his free throw shooting, averaging 52.7% from the line over his career. In the attempt to exploit this bad shooting, opposing teams often employed the ‘Hack-a-Shaq’ tactic, where they would intentionally foul Shaq to place him on the line.
O’Neal was an extremely efficient player overall. His career field goal percentage of 58.2% is the second highest percentage of all time, after Chicago Bulls legend Artis Gilmore. His career PER (player efficiency rating) is the third highest of all time, behind Michael Jordan and Lebron James. He used his skillset to convert on a large majority of his shots.
Shaq used his stature and size to bully his opponents, and created a legacy in the NBA community that will not be forgotten for a long time.
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