Happy Birthday, Shaq! Today he turns 46.
One of the NBA’s greatest players of all time Shaquille O’Neal, or as most people know him “Shaq,” can teach you a number of lessons in hard work, motivation, leadership and more from his nearly decade-long basketball career. In fact, even after his retirement in 2011, Shaq’s gone on to be a major face in sports broadcasting and business.
Attending Louisiana State University for basketball, by his junior year in 1992, Shaq dropped out of school to pursue a career in the NBA on the Orlando Magic. In his first week, Shaq became the first NBA player in history to be named “Player of the Week” in such a short amount of time. And it wasn’t long after that Shaq quickly impressed the world and shook up professional basketball forever. In 1996, Shaq signed the biggest contract in NBA history: $120 million to play on the Los Angeles Lakers for seven years.
Playing on six NBA teams throughout his career, Shaq won a number of awards including Rookie of the Year in 1992 and 1993, USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1994, NBA’s MVP in 2000 and NBA All-Star Games’ MVP in 2000, 2004 and 2009. He led many teams to victory, winning championships and playing on the USA Olympic Basketball team.
After retiring, Shaq earned his PhD in education in 2012 and today, the basketball giant works as an NBA sports analyst and has had much entrepreneurial success, owning a number of Five Guys and 24 Hour Fitness franchises, investing in Google before it went public and launching his own residential and commercial real-estate firm The O’Neal Group. Suffice to say, Shaq’s accomplishments are many and they got beyond the basketball court.
To learn more, here are nine powerful quotes from Shaquille O’Neal.