They won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002.Amid tension between O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, and his fourth NBA championship followed in 2006.In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum.He has appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq's Big Challenge and Shaq Vs.. O'Neal was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, to Lucille O'Neal and Joe Toney, who played high school basketball (he was an All-State guard) and was offered a basketball scholarship to play at Seton Hall.During that summer, prior to moving to Orlando, he spent a significant amount of time in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
In the summer of 1996, O'Neal was named to the United States Olympic basketball team, and was later part of the gold medal-winning team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.They then defeated the Chicago Bulls in the conference semifinals.After beating Reggie Miller's Indiana Pacers, the Magic reached the NBA Finals, facing the defending NBA champion Houston Rockets.After graduating from high school, O'Neal studied business at Louisiana State University. O'Neal left LSU early to pursue his NBA career, but continued his education even after becoming a professional player.He had first met Dale Brown, LSU's men's basketball coach, years earlier in Europe. The Orlando Magic drafted O'Neal with the 1st overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft.On more than one occasion during the year, Sports Illustrated writer Jack Mc Callum overheard O'Neal saying, "We've got to get [head coach] Matty [Guokas] out of here and bring in [assistant] Brian [Hill]." O'Neal improved his scoring average to 29.4 points (second in the league to David Robinson) while leading the NBA in field goal percentage at 60%.