Shaquille O’Neal had a legendary 19-year NBA career, playing for six teams during his stint in the league.
O’Neal became an influential figure on and off the court, even transcending the game of basketball and becoming a celebrity.
It all started back in 1992 when the Orlando Magic selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in that year’s NBA draft.
31 years ago today, @SHAQ was drafted No. 1️⃣ overall to the Magic.
The rest was history 💪 pic.twitter.com/KKFI8BAo6G
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 24, 2023
Fans are remembering this special moment, celebrating O’Neal’s career and time with the Magic.
— 𝕷𝖚𝖎𝖘👹🇬🇹 (@IIYoSoyLuisII) June 24, 2023
And then the Magic did what the Magic do the best…lose their star players or trade them for their favorite player “cash considerations”.
— Justin Robert Purser (@jus10p) June 24, 2023
Him and Penny Hardaway was awesome to watch.
— I am Skellyy 👺 (@mynameisskellyy) June 24, 2023
One of the best rookies ever, took a league by a storm
— Richard Pietrzyk (@richardpietrzyk) June 24, 2023
A lot has happened since that moment, but nobody can deny that to this day, he remains one of the best No. 1 overall picks of all-time.
Although O’Neal could never win with the Magic, he did lead the team to its first-ever NBA Finals appearance in 1995.
Unfortunately, they lost to the inspired Houston Rockets in the championship series, which was believed to be the beginning of the end for Shaq in Orlando.
In 295 games with the Magic, O’Neal posted 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.8 blocks per game.
After spending his first four seasons with the Magic, he went to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he became a three-time NBA champion alongside Kobe Bryant.
O’Neal always felt he had unfinished business with the Magic and now that he’s retired, the possibility of purchasing the franchise is very appealing to him.
“I’m interested in a certain team in Florida” 👀
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) May 12, 2023
This would be a terrific redemption story if O’Neal could make this happen.
However, we have to wait and see if he’s able to buy the franchise that originally drafted him into the NBA.NEXT: The NBA's Rookie Of The Year Has Made A Big Announcement