Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Jermaine O'Neal

Jermaine O'Neal

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Jermaine O'Neal'
Start a new discussion about 'Jermaine O'Neal'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Jermaine Lee O'Neal is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 professional basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 player for the Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

. The 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m), 255 lb (115 kg) forward-center
Center (basketball)
The center, colloquially known as the five or the post, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well...

 had a successful high school career and declared his eligibility for the 1996 NBA Draft
1996 NBA Draft
The 1996 NBA Draft was the 50th draft in the National Basketball Association . It was held on June 26, 1996 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The draft was broadcast in the United States on the Turner Network Television...

 straight out of high school. He was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...

 with the 17th pick of the first round, but O'Neal was unable to break into the first team in Portland and was traded to the Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...

 in 2000. In his eight seasons with the club, he was voted an NBA All-Star six times, made the All-NBA teams three times, and was voted the NBA Most Improved Player in the 2001–02 season. He also helped Indiana reach the NBA Playoffs
NBA Playoffs
The National Basketball Association Playoffs is a best-of-seven elimination tournament among sixteen teams in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference , ultimately deciding the final four teams who will play in the NBA Conference Finals.-Format:Following the NBA regular season, eight teams in...

 six times, including the Conference Finals in the 2003–04 season. He was traded to the Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's re-expansion...

 before the 2008–09 season
2008–09 NBA season
The 2008–09 NBA season was the 63rd season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, and ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2009...

 began, and traded to the Miami Heat
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...

 midway through the same season. O'Neal joined Boston prior to the 2010–11 season
2010–11 NBA season
The 2010–11 NBA season was the 65th season of the National Basketball Association . The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was played on February 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in six games, 4 games to 2, to win their first NBA title, and...

.

Early life and high school career


Jermaine O'Neal was born in Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is the state capital and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 129,272 according to the 2010 census. Columbia is the county seat of Richland County, but a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. The city is the center of a metropolitan...

. Both he and his elder brother, Clifford, were raised single-handedly by his mother, Angela Ocean. Ocean worked hard to support her sons, and left her children largely to their own devices. O'Neal found his love for athletics at a young age. Tall and quick, he enjoyed both football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 and basketball, but basketball was his favorite sport. Two of his basketball heroes are Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon is a retired Nigerian-American professional basketball player. From 1984 to 2002, he played the center position in the National Basketball Association for the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. He led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In 2008,...

 and Bill Russell
Bill Russell
William Felton "Bill" Russell is a retired American professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association...

; O'Neal often marveled at the former's approach to the game, while he loved watching the latter's video highlights of his duels with Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain
Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain was an American professional NBA basketball player for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; he also played for the Harlem Globetrotters prior to playing in the NBA...

.

Each summer, he would play for an AAU
Amateur Athletic Union
The Amateur Athletic Union is one of the largest non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.-History:The AAU was founded in 1888 to...

 team, and impressed onlookers with his athleticism and his ability to handle the ball with both hands. By the time he turned 14, the 6'4" O'Neal—now a confident guard who could drain three-pointers—entered Eau Claire High School of the Arts as a freshman in 1992. In his first meeting with basketball coach George Glymph, he made the bold promise to become the best player in the school's history. While O'Neal's first season was hardly noteworthy (he even played as quarterback
Quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

 for the Eau Claire team) things changed when he grew five inches over the next year and a half, and he was inspired to develop into a defensive powerhouse like his idol Russell. Glymph built his team's defense around O'Neal, and Eau Claire featured one of the most imposing frontcourt
Frontcourt
Frontcourt is a term used in basketball referring to the small forward, power forward, and center positions as a cohesive unit....

s around. With O'Neal averaging 18 points
Point (basketball)
Points in basketball are used to keep track of the score in a game. Points can be accumulated by making field goals or free throws ....

, 12 rebounds
Rebound (basketball)
A rebound in basketball is the act of successfully gaining possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw. Rebounds in basketball are a routine part in the game, as all possessions change after a shot is successfully made...

 and 9 blocks
Block (basketball)
In basketball, a block , not to be confused with blocking, occurs when a defensive player legally deflects a field goal attempt from an offensive player. The defender must not touch the offensive player's hands or otherwise a foul is called. In order to be legal, the block must occur while the shot...

 a game, Eau Claire captured its third straight 3A state title in 1995.

The following July, the 16-year-old was to raise his profile yet again. At an ABCD summer basketball camp, he outplayed Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas (basketball)
Timothy Mark "Tim" Thomas is an American professional basketball player, in the small forward position.-High school / College:...

, a rising star at that time. Before long, recruiting letters from various top colleges came pouring in. O'Neal, however, also faced great pressure off the court. That same year, the District Attorney
District attorney
In many jurisdictions in the United States, a District Attorney is an elected or appointed government official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. The district attorney is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of...

 contemplated prosecuting him for rape after he and his 15-year-old girlfriend were found partially nude in bed together by her father. The DA eventually did not prosecute O'Neal, but as the latter struggled to cope with the pressure on and off the court, Glymph stepped in, introducing discipline to his life and keeping his feet to the ground. At the same time, O'Neal's mother had met a new man, Abraham Kennedy, who also guided O'Neal along.

In his senior season at Eau Claire, O'Neal's averages of 22.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.2 blocks per game ensured that he was voted First Team All-State, South Carolina's Player of the Year and "Mr. Basketball". Named to USA Today's All-USA Basketball Team, he earned a spot in the McDonald's All-America
All-America
An All-America team is an honorary sports team composed of outstanding amateur players—those considered the best players of a specific season for each team position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply...

 Game as well. Despite being one of the nation's top prospects, O'Neal's future in college basketball was uncertain. He scored poorly on the SATs, and Glymph advised against him making the leap to the NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

. But it was only a year before that another South Carolinian—future NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett
Kevin Maurice Garnett is an American professional basketball player who currently plays power forward for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association . After a high school basketball career at Farragut Career Academy which included winning a national player of the year award, he...

—had made a seamless transition from high school to the NBA, and O'Neal thought he could emulate Garnett.

Portland Trail Blazers


O'Neal was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...

 as the 17th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft
1996 NBA Draft
The 1996 NBA Draft was the 50th draft in the National Basketball Association . It was held on June 26, 1996 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The draft was broadcast in the United States on the Turner Network Television...

. The rookie was surrounded by veterans and emerging stars who could show him the ropes in Portland; forming the frontcourt with him were Arvydas Sabonis
Arvydas Sabonis
Arvydas Romas Sabonis is a retired Lithuanian professional basketball player and a businessman. He was an eight-time European Player of the Year, winning the Euroscar Award six times, and the Mr...

, Rasheed Wallace
Rasheed Wallace
Rasheed Abdul Wallace is a retired American professional basketball power forward and center who played from 1995 to 2010 in the National Basketball Association...

 and Clifford R. Robinson
Clifford R. Robinson
Clifford "Cliff" Ralph Robinson is a former American professional basketball player, formerly of the National Basketball Association.-Highlights:...

. After missing the first 17 games with a bone contusion in his knee, O'Neal made his debut against the Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...

 in December. At 18 years, one month and 22 days, he became the youngest player to play in an NBA game (a mark that has since been eclipsed by Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association . He was drafted 10th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005. Bynum became the youngest player ever to play an NBA game later that year, breaking Jermaine...

).
Portland was mediocre in the first half of the campaign, but came to form as the playoffs
1997 NBA Playoffs
The 1997 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1996–97 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls winning the NBA championship by defeating the Western Conference champion Utah Jazzfour games to two...

 approached and managed to finish third in the Pacific Division
Pacific Division (NBA)
The Pacific Division is one of the three divisions in the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association . The division consists of five teams, the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings...

 with a 49–33 win–loss record. While fans at the Rose Garden harbored thoughts of an upset against the Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 in the first round of the playoffs, the Trail Blazers succumbed in four games. In O'Neal's first season, he appeared in a total of 45 games in the regular season, averaging 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. For the most part, however, he came off the bench and only averaged 10.2 minutes a game. O'Neal doubted for a while if he had made the right decision to skip college—he watched with envy as good friend and fellow prep-to-pro draftee Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bean Bryant is an American professional basketball player who plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association . Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he was recognized as the top high school...

 was enjoying a good rookie season—but he remained confident that the best had yet to come.

Despite his optimism, O'Neal found it difficult to break into the first team the following season. Brian Grant
Brian Grant
Brian Wade Grant is a retired American basketball player. He played the power forward and center positions for five teams during 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association. He was known for his tenacious rebounding and blue-collar defense...

 was acquired from free agency
Free agent
In professional sports, a free agent is a player whose contract with a team has expired and who is thus eligible to sign with another club or franchise....

 and new coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr.
Mike Dunleavy, Sr.
Michael Joseph Dunleavy is a retired American professional basketball player, former head coach, and former general manager of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers. He is the father of Indiana Pacers player Mike Dunleavy, Jr.-Early life:...

 planned to use Sabonis, Wallace and Grant as the starting frontcourt, while the presence of veteran Gary Trent
Gary Trent
Gary Dajaun Trent is an American retired professional basketball player.Trent played his high school basketball at Hamilton Township High School in Columbus, Ohio...

 also further reduced the sophomore's chances. Thus, O'Neal was not given meaningful minutes in the early part of the campaign, although he showed glimpses of his potential with occasional double double performances when he returned from an early-season injury. Portland eventually produced a similar win–loss record as the preceding season with 46 wins, finishing fourth in the division. In the playoffs
1998 NBA Playoffs
The 1998 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1997-98 NBA season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls winning their sixth championship of the decade by defeating the Western Conference champion Utah Jazz four...

, Dunleavy opted to go with a more youthful lineup: before the trade deadline, he had acquired point guard
Point guard
Point guard , also called the play maker or "the ball-handler", is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has perhaps the most specialized role of any position – essentially, he is expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that...

 Damon Stoudamire
Damon Stoudamire
Damon Lamon Stoudamire is a retired American professional basketball player who is currently an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers men's basketball team. The , point guard was selected with the 7th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 1995 NBA Draft and won the 1995–96 NBA Rookie of the...

, as well as forwards Carlos Rogers
Carlos Rogers (basketball)
Carlos Deon Rogers is a retired American professional basketball player who was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1st round of the 1994 NBA Draft....

 and Walt Williams
Walt Williams
Walter Ander Williams is a retired American professional basketball player. A sharpshooting 6'8" forward/guard, Williams attended school at the University of Maryland from 1988 to 1992, and is credited by many for resurrecting the school's basketball program which was going through very...

. The move was designed to bolster the team's chances in the playoffs against teams that were bigger and more physical. Nevertheless, for the second time in two years, the Trail Blazers were eliminated by the Lakers in four games in the first round. And just like the season before, O'Neal hardly featured for Portland, playing only three minutes in one game.

The 1998–99 season was initially disrupted for several months following an impasse in the collective bargaining
Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions...

 negotiations. In the end, the league scaled down to a 50-game schedule, and Portland capitalized on the shortened campaign. Boasting one of the league's most balanced squads that also had strength in depth, the Trail Blazers chalked up an impressive 35–15 record and topped the division. Dunleavy—who would later be named NBA Coach of the Year—led his club into the playoffs
1999 NBA Playoffs
The 1999 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1998-99 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs by defeating the eighth-seeded Eastern Conference champion New York Knicks four games to one...

 aiming to capture the franchise's first NBA title since 1977. After sweeping the Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Their home arena since 1992 has been the US...

 3–0 in the first round, Portland defeated the Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are currently a part of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 4–2 to set up a showdown with the San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

 in the Western Conference
Western Conference (NBA)
Below is a list of current Western Conference NBA team rosters.-Western Conference:There are a total of 15 teams in the Western Conference. The current leading team of the Western conference are the Dallas Mavericks....

 Finals. In Game 2, a 3-pointer by Sean Elliott
Sean Elliott
Sean Michael Elliott is a retired American professional basketball player in the NBA.‎-Early life:Elliott was born in Tucson, Arizona and was youngest of three boys. He was a very intelligent boy growing up and attended the G.A.T.E. program at Toleson Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona...

 in the closing seconds gave the Spurs a 86–85 win and propelled San Antonio to win the series (the Spurs went on to win the NBA championship). O'Neal's disappointment at losing in the Conference Finals was compounded by the fact that his regular season minutes had dropped to fewer than 10 a game for the first time, and that his contributions to the team were mostly insignificant to begin with. He was having increasing doubts about his NBA career.

However, in an unexpected move, Portland showed their willingness to invest in O'Neal by offering him a four-year contract worth $24 million. However, the new deal did not translate into more playing time for the power forward in the 1999–2000 season. Portland acquired Detlef Schrempf
Detlef Schrempf
Detlef Schrempf is a retired German NBA basketball player.-High school and college career:...

, Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen
Scottie Maurice Pippen is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association . He is most remembered for his time with the Chicago Bulls, with whom he was instrumental in six NBA Championships and their record 1995–96 season of 72 wins...

, and Steve Smith
Steve Smith (basketball)
Steven Delano "Steve" Smith is a retired American basketball player. He played with several teams in his 14-season National Basketball Association career, including the Miami Heat, the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs, but is perhaps best known for his five-year stint with the...

 during the 1999 offseason, which meant that O'Neal was once again consigned to the bench. His statistics remained unimpressive, averaging 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game during the regular season. In the meantime, the Trail Blazers continued to build on the success of their previous campaign. They notched 59 wins in the regular season, and defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Founded in 1989, the team is currently owned by Glen Taylor...

 and the Utah Jazz en route to reaching the Western Conference Finals. Up against recent perennial rivals the Los Angeles Lakers, the team relinquished a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter of the pivotal Game 7, and lost 89–84. Not that O'Neal was heavily involved in any of this, however. With back-to-back Conference Finals disappointments coupled with a lack of playing time, he soon announced his intention to be traded. The Trail Blazers relented in the end and sent him to the Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...

 in exchange for NBA All-Star Dale Davis
Dale Davis (basketball)
Elliott Lydell Davis is a former American professional basketball player who played center and power forward. He is 6'11" and weighs 252 pounds....

. This move was greeted with surprise by the Indiana fans as the Pacers had just came off an appearance in the 2000 NBA Finals
2000 NBA Finals
The 2000 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1999-2000 National Basketball Association season. The Los Angeles Lakers of the Western Conference took on the Indiana Pacers of the Eastern Conference for the title, with the Lakers holding home court advantage...

, and the trade involved losing a quality player for an unproven quantity in O'Neal. The Pacers roster also saw the departures of Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson (basketball)
Mark A. Jackson is a retired American professional basketball player and the current head coach of the Golden State Warriors. He played point guard for the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets in the NBA in a career...

, Rik Smits
Rik Smits
Rik Smits is a retired Dutch professional basketball player who spent his entire professional career with the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association. The 7'4" center was drafted by the Pacers out of Marist College with the second overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft...

 and Chris Mullin
Chris Mullin (basketball)
Christopher Paul Mullin is a retired American basketball player and former general manager of the NBA's Golden State Warriors. He has also been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame....

, and even coach Larry Bird
Larry Bird
Larry Joe Bird is a former American NBA basketball player and coach. Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons, spearheading one of the NBA's most formidable frontcourts that included center Robert Parish...

 stepped down. All of this meant that O'Neal arrived in Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

 facing intense pressure and scrutiny.

Indiana Pacers


When O'Neal arrived at his new club, new coach Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas
Isiah Lord Thomas III , nicknamed "Zeke",is the men's basketball coach for the FIU Golden Panthers, and a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association from 1981 until 1994. He led the "Bad Boys" to the NBA...

—who had pushed for the O'Neal/Davis trade—told him that he simply needed to work harder on his game to succeed. At that time, Indiana was rebuilding and still revolved around veteran All-Star Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller
Reginald Wayne "Reggie" Miller is a retired American professional basketball player who played his entire 18-year National Basketball Association career with the Indiana Pacers...

. O'Neal turned out to be a revelation for his new club and it was not long before he established himself as a key player for his new team. Starting in 80 of the 81 regular season games he played in for the 2000–01 season, his statistics improved significantly as he averaged 12.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. The big man helped his team to a 41–41 record and the eighth playoff seed; he also led the league in total blocks (228, a franchise record), and led the Eastern Conference
Eastern Conference (NBA)
The Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association is made up of fifteen teams, organized in three divisions of five teams each.The three division winners and the non-division winner with the best record are seeded 1 through 4 for the playoffs in order of their records, with all...

 in double doubles. O'Neal kept up his form into the playoffs
2001 NBA Playoffs
The 2001 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2000–01 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers winning their second consecutive championship by defeating the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers...

 as well, averaging almost 9.8 points and 12.5 boards a game in the first round against the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . Originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA...

, although the series was short-lived as the latter emerged victorious in four games.
The 2001–02 season proved to be the breakthrough season for O'Neal as he earned a trio of honors: winning the NBA Most Improved Player Award
NBA Most Improved Player Award
The National Basketball Association's Most Improved Player Award is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1985–86 NBA season, to the most improved player of the regular season. The winner is selected by a panel of sportswriters throughout the United States and Canada,...

, being named an NBA All-Star, and making the All-NBA Third Team (becoming the second Pacer in history to do so after Reggie Miller). Leading his team in scoring (19.0) and rebounding (10.5), he chalked up 39 double doubles, which was third best in the conference and eighth best in the league. Indiana recorded 42 wins and qualified for the playoffs
2002 NBA Playoffs
The 2002 NBA Playoffs were the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2001–02 season. This would be the final postseason that held a best-of-5 first-round series; next year's postseason would see those series expanded to a best-of-7 format...

 once again as the eighth seed, where they faced one of the hottest teams in the league at that time, the New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

. The Pacers pushed the Nets all the way to Game 5, and even forced overtime twice, but the Nets prevailed in the end. The Nets had put Kenyon Martin
Kenyon Martin
Kenyon Lee Martin is an American professional basketball player. Nicknamed "K-Mart", he plays for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China. He was selected first overall in the 2000 NBA Draft, and has played in the NBA for the New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets...

 on O'Neal after the latter put up a 30 point, 11 rebound performance in Game 1, and they succeeded in limiting him to just 17.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game over the series. As the Pacers reflected on yet another premature end to the postseason, they knew that O'Neal was next in line to succeed the 36-year-old Miller as the new face of the franchise. At the same time, the Pacers seemed to have found players in Brad Miller
Brad Miller (basketball)
Bradley Alan Miller is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA...

, Ron Artest
Ron Artest
Metta World Peace is an American professional basketball player and rapper who is currently with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. World Peace gained a reputation as one of the league's premier defenders as he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2004...

, Al Harrington
Al Harrington
Albert "Al" Harrington is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the NBA's Denver Nuggets...

 and Jamal Tinsley who complemented O'Neal. Indiana was on the brink of becoming a legitimate threat in the East.

The Pacers started the 2002–03 season well, winning 14 of their first 16 games, and had the best record in the East by the time the All-Star break arrived. The same team from the year before was playing better than ever, but the season fell apart in the latter half. For one, Brad Miller got injured and Indiana lost one of their most versatile players. Defensive lynchpin Artest suffered from too many emotional outbursts and this further hurt the Pacers, who could only finish the season 48–34. On his part, O'Neal kept up his All-Star numbers, averaging 20.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, being only one of three players in the NBA that year to pull off a 20/10. He was voted Eastern Conference Player of the Month twice, in January and April, and would go on to be named to the All-NBA Third Team again by the season's end. With no momentum heading into the playoffs
2003 NBA Playoffs
The 2003 NBA playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2002-03 NBA season. This postseason was notable for being the first time all series were conducted in a best-of-7 format. It was also the only time in playoff history that no team was swept in a first-round series....

, however, the Pacers were eliminated 4–2 by underdogs Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

, marking a first-round elimination for the third year in a row. Off the court, the team had also been facing family problems. Brad Miller's father-in-law and Tinsley's mother died during the season, and just before the playoffs, O'Neal's stepfather attempted suicide. When the season ended, O'Neal tried to keep his focus on basketball and considered the possibility of joining another team since he was now a free agent. The San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

, led by two-time NBA Champion Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan
Timothy Theodore "Tim" Duncan is an American professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association . The 6-foot 11-inch , 255-pound power forward/center is a four-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and NBA Rookie of the Year...

, looked an interesting proposition as perennial All-Star David Robinson
David Robinson (basketball)
David Maurice Robinson is a retired American NBA basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs for his entire NBA career. Based on his prior service as an officer in the United States Navy, Robinson earned the nickname "The Admiral". He and teammate power forward Tim Duncan were...

 had just retired. Much as it was tempting for O'Neal to make the switch, he opted not to uproot his family and signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Pacers. Even so, the offseason produced a few surprises for O'Neal when Isiah Thomas was replaced by Rick Carlisle
Rick Carlisle
Richard Preston Carlisle is the head coach of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. He has also coached the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, and was previously a player in the NBA. He is also one of the only 11 people to win an NBA championship both as a player and as a coach.-Playing career:Carlisle...

, and Brad Miller left for the Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California, United States. They are currently members of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

. Indiana was undergoing rebuilding yet again.

Despite all the changes, O'Neal spearheaded the Pacers to a league-best 61–21 record in the 2003–04 season. He remained a constant double-double threat, averaging 20.1 points and 10.0 rebounds a game in the regular season. He also continued to rack up individual honors, making his third All-Star trip and being named to the All-NBA Second Team. Artest was instrumental to the team's success too as he enjoyed a breakthrough season, netting his first All-Star berth as well as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award
The National Basketball Association's Defensive Player of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1982–83 NBA season, to the top defensive player of the regular season...

. In the playoffs
2004 NBA Playoffs
The 2004 NBA Playoffs were the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2003–04 season. Consisting of 16 teams in two conferences, the playoffs involved about two months of play. The playoffs were conducted in seven-game series, with the team with the better record holding home court...

, Indiana gained revenge from the preceding season by sweeping Boston in the first round, before defeating the Miami Heat
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...

 in the next. That sent them back to the Eastern Conference Finals for the sixth time in 11 years, where they were disposed of by eventual NBA champions Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are a franchise of the National Basketball Association based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The team's home arena is The Palace of Auburn Hills. It was originally founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons as a member of the National Basketball League in 1941, where...

. In the series-deciding Game 6, O'Neal endured a sprained knee and managed to tally 20 points and 10 rebounds, but Richard Hamilton
Richard Hamilton (basketball)
Richard "Rip" Hamilton is an American basketball player who currently plays for the Detroit Pistons. Hamilton is 6'7" tall, weighs 193 lbs , and plays shooting guard. He currently is the Pistons' team captain....

's inspired play ensured a close victory for the Pistons.

The Pacers looked to build on their previous campaign in the 2004–05 season, but all their plans came apart in November. In a game against the Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills, often referred to simply as The Palace, is a sports and entertainment venue in Auburn Hills, Michigan, a suburb on the northern outskirts of Detroit, Michigan, United States. Opened in 1988, it is the home of the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association...

, a brawl broke out that spilled into the stands. O'Neal was one of the Pacers who fought with some of the fans and was suspended for 25 games by NBA Commissioner David Stern
David Stern
David Joel Stern is the commissioner of the National Basketball Association. He started with the Association in 1966 as an outside counsel, joined the NBA in 1978 as General Counsel, and became the league's Executive Vice President in 1980. He became Commissioner in 1984 succeeding Larry O'Brien...

; teammates Artest and Stephen Jackson
Stephen Jackson
Stephen Jesse Jackson is an American professional basketball player for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. Jackson is a 6'8" guard-forward.-Early life, high school, and college:Jackson was born in Houston and grew up in Port Arthur, Texas...

 were suspended for the rest of the season and 30 games respectively. Following an appeal just before Christmas, O'Neal won a ten-game reduction in his sentence, but this did not mitigate the damage that Indiana had already suffered. Stripped of three of its core players, the team hobbled to a 44–38 record and the sixth seed. O'Neal appeared in only 44 games, his lowest total ever with Indiana. Although his scoring average improved to 24.3 points per game, his rebounding dropped and he was no longer the same intimidating presence on defense. Things worsened when he sprained his right shoulder in March and played sparingly for the remainder of the regular season, while hoping to recover in time for the playoffs
2005 NBA Playoffs
The 2005 NBA Playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2004–05 season.The San Antonio Spurs, the number two ranked team in the Western Conference, won the 2005 NBA Playoffs by defeating the defending champions, the Detroit Pistons, 4-3 in the NBA Finals...

. The Pacers drew the Celtics in the first round, and managed to salvage their season by winning the series 4–3. O'Neal, however, was not playing as well as he could have: his offensive output dropped, and he shot poorly from the field. When the Pacers met the Pistons in the semifinals, they were eliminated in six games, capping yet another frustrating season for O'Neal.

O'Neal continued his battle against injuries during the 2005–06 season, and played in only 51 games. Nevertheless, he averaged a team-high 20.1 points and 9.3 rebounds a game. and was voted by the fans as the starting forward for the Eastern Conference All-Star team (he was later replaced by Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Jay Arenas, Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association . He plays as a point guard and shooting guard....

 due to injury). The Pacers entered the playoffs
2006 NBA Playoffs
The 2006 NBA Playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2005–06 season. The Miami Heat won the first championship in the history of the franchise by defeating the Dallas Mavericks 4-2 in the 2006 NBA Finals...

 as the sixth seed. They eventually lost to the New Jersey Nets in six games.

O'Neal missed 13 more games in the 2006–07 season as the Pacers missed the playoffs altogether. O'Neal continued to miss huge amounts of time, especially towards the end of the season, as the Pacers struggled to compete. O'Neal's production and stats declined as well. He had two years and $44 million left on his deal. The Pacers were looking to move the huge contract. On June 25, 2008, it was reported that O'Neal and the 41st pick in the 2008 NBA Draft
2008 NBA Draft
The 2008 NBA Draft was held on June 26, 2008 at the Washington Mutual Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, including...

, Nathan Jawai
Nathan Jawai
Nathan Jawai is an Indigenous Australian professional basketball player. He currently plays for the Russian team UNICS Kazan.-Pro career:...

 would be sent to Toronto
Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's re-expansion...

 for T. J. Ford
T. J. Ford
Terrance Jerod "T. J." Ford is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for KK Zagreb. Having been awarded numerous top basketball accolades in high school and college, Ford entered the 2003 NBA Draft and was selected eighth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks...

, Rasho Nesterovič, Maceo Baston
Maceo Baston
Maceo Demond Baston is an American professional basketball player who is currently a free agent.-College career:After graduating from Dallas' H. Grady Spruce High School, Baston played college basketball at the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he was part of an all-star recruiting class that...

 and the 17th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Roy Hibbert
Roy Hibbert
Roy Denzil Hibbert is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the NBA. He plays at the center position, and graduated from Georgetown University in 2008. He was drafted 17th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors and was immediately traded to the Pacers...

. The trade was finalized on July 9, 2008.

Toronto Raptors



O'Neal was given jersey #6 for the Raptors since his number with the Pacers (#7) was already owned by Andrea Bargnani
Andrea Bargnani
Andrea Bargnani , nicknamed "Il Mago" , is an Italian professional basketball player with the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. He was selected first overall in the 2006 NBA Draft. He is a power forward/center standing at 213 cm and weighing 113.4 kg...

. While he was expected to combine with Toronto's three-time All-Star Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh
Christopher Wesson Bosh is an American professional basketball player who plays power forward for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association ....

 to form a strong frontcourt and provide greater rebounding and interior defense for the Raptors, O'Neal's arrival was dwarfed by the Elton Brand
Elton Brand
Elton Tyron Brand is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association...

 signing pulled off by division rivals Philadelphia
Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . Originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA...

. O'Neal wasted no time in imposing his style on his new team: in the season opener at Philadelphia, he pointed to hecklers in the home crowd after making a dunk; in the team's second game, Toronto's center blocked a dunk from Golden State's
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 Brandan Wright
Brandan Wright
Brandan Keith Wright is an American professional basketball player who last played for the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association . Growing up in Tennessee, Wright fast became a standout at his high school Brentwood Academy, earning an unprecedented three "Mr. Basketball" titles, a...

 and thereafter waved a finger, as though to say "Don't come back here again." Even so, it took O'Neal some time to find his offensive game: he reached the 20-point mark just twice in his first 23 games, before notching three straight thereafter. By the All-Star break, injuries had ruled the big man out for almost a quarter of Toronto's games, while Bargnani regained his starting spot with a streak of solid performances. This, coupled with the Raptors entering the break placed 14th in the conference and 13 games under .500, Toronto General Manager Bryan Colangelo
Bryan Colangelo
Bryan Colangelo is the President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. He is the son of Phoenix sports mogul, Jerry Colangelo. He attended Cornell University. He was the 2005 and 2007 recipient of the NBA Executive of the Year Award.-Phoenix:Bryan began his NBA front-office career...

 looked to move O'Neal to bring in a wing player and free up the salary space. On February 13, 2009, O'Neal and Jamario Moon
Jamario Moon
Jamario Raman Moon is an American professional basketball player. Moon played college basketball for one season at Meridian Community College and began his professional career with teams in the United States Basketball League and NBA Development League, the Harlem Globetrotters, and Mexican...

 were traded to Miami
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...

 for Shawn Marion
Shawn Marion
Shawn Dwayne Marion is an American professional basketball player currently with the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association. Born in Waukegan, Illinois, Marion attended high school in Clarksville, Tennessee. Before transferring to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Marion...

 and Marcus Banks
Marcus Banks
Arthur Lemarcus Banks III, commonly known as Marcus Banks , is an American professional basketball player who most recently played with the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA....

. In his 41 games as a Raptor, O'Neal averaged 13.5 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game.

Miami Heat



The Heat went 7–5 in O'Neal's first 12 games with his new club—including a victory over the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre
The Air Canada Centre is a multi-purpose indoor sporting arena located on Bay Street in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.The arena is popularly known as the ACC or the Hangar ....

—as they looked to secure the fourth seed for the playoffs
2009 NBA Playoffs
The 2009 NBA Playoffs was the postseason for the National Basketball Association's 2008–09 season. The playoffs started on April 18, 2009 with ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV broadcasting the games in the United States...

. The Heat eventually concluded the regular season with a 43–39 record and was seeded fifth. In the first round of the playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are part of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association .-The first years:...

 defeated the Heat in seven games.

In the 2009–10
2009–10 NBA season
The 2009–10 NBA season was the 64th season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, and ended on Wednesday, April 14, 2010....

 season, O'Neal started in all 70 games he played in and produced numbers identical to his career averages. Miami concluded the regular season as the fifth seed for the playoffs
2010 NBA Playoffs
The 2010 NBA Playoffs was the postseason for the National Basketball Association's 2009–10 season. The playoffs started on April 17, 2010 with ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and NBA TV broadcasting the games in the United States...

, and were up against the Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

. Boston won the series 4–1.

Boston Celtics


After one and a half seasons with Miami, O'Neal signed a two-year deal with the Boston Celtics. He had a difficult season
2010–11 NBA season
The 2010–11 NBA season was the 65th season of the National Basketball Association . The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was played on February 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in six games, 4 games to 2, to win their first NBA title, and...

 with his new team, missing 58 regular season games with left knee and left wrist injuries. O'Neal came back in the starting line-up for the 2011 NBA Playoffs
2011 NBA Playoffs
The 2011 NBA Playoffs was the postseason for the National Basketball Association's 2010–11 season. Eight teams from each of the league's two conferences qualified for the playoffs, all seeded 1 to 8 in a tournament bracket, with all rounds in a best-of-seven format. The 2011 NBA Playoffs began on...

. Boston (third seed) faced the New York Knicks of Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Kiyan Anthony , nicknamed "Melo", is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association...

 in the first round. O'Neal had a good series, especially in Game 1 with 12 points and 5 blocks. Boston swept the Knicks, but lost to the eventual Eastern Conference champions, the Miami Heat, in the second round in five games.

Regular season



|-
| align="left" | 1996–97
| align="left" | Portland
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...


| 45 || 0 || 10.2 || .451 || .000 || .603 || 2.8 || .2 || .0 || .6 || 4.1
|-
| align="left" | 1997–98
| align="left" | Portland
| 60 || 9 || 13.5 || .485 || .000 || .506 || 3.4 || .3 || .2 || 1.0 || 4.5
|-
| align="left" | 1998–99
| align="left" | Portland
| 36 || 1 || 8.6 || .434 || .000 || .514 || 2.7 || .4 || .1 || .4 || 2.5
|-
| align="left" | 1999–00
| align="left" | Portland
| 70 || 8 || 12.3 || .486 || .000 || .582 || 3.3 || .3 || .2 || .8 || 3.9
|-
| align="left" | 2000–01
| align="left" | Indiana
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


| 81 || 80 || 32.6 || .465 || .000 || .601 || 9.8 || 1.2 || .6 || 2.8 || 12.9
|-
| align="left" | 2001–02
| align="left" | Indiana
| 72 || 72 || 37.6 || .479 || .071 || .688 || 10.5 || 1.6 || .6 || 2.3 || 19.0
|-
| align="left" | 2002–03
| align="left" | Indiana
| 77 || 76 || 37.2 || .484 || .333 || .731 || 10.3 || 2.0 || .9 || 2.3 || 20.8
|-
| align="left" | 2003–04
| align="left" | Indiana
| 78 || 78 || 35.7 || .434 || .111 || .757 || 10.0 || 2.1 || .8 || 2.5 || 20.1
|-
| align="left" | 2004–05
| align="left" | Indiana
| 44 || 41 || 34.8 || .452 || .167 || .754 || 8.8 || 1.9 || .6 || 2.0 || 24.3
|-
| align="left" | 2005–06
| align="left" | Indiana
| 51 || 47 || 35.3 || .472 || .300 || .709 || 9.3 || 2.6 || .5 || 2.3 || 20.1
|-
| align="left" | 2006–07
| align="left" | Indiana
| 69 || 69 || 35.6 || .436 || .000 || .767 || 9.6 || 2.4 || .7 || 2.6 || 19.4
|-
| align="left" | 2007–08
| align="left" | Indiana
| 42 || 34 || 28.7 || .439 || .000 || .742 || 6.7 || 2.2 || .5 || 2.1 || 13.6
|-
| align="left" | 2008–09
2008–09 NBA season
The 2008–09 NBA season was the 63rd season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, and ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2009...


| align="left" | Toronto
Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's re-expansion...


| 41 || 34 || 29.7 || .473 || .000 || .810 || 7.0 || 1.6 || .4 || 2.0 || 13.5
|-
| align="left" | 2008–09
| align="left" | Miami
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...


| 27 || 27 || 30.0 || .475 || .000 || .750 || 5.4 || 2.0 || .4 || 2.0 || 13.0
|-
| align="left" | 2009–10
2009–10 NBA season
The 2009–10 NBA season was the 64th season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, and ended on Wednesday, April 14, 2010....


| align="left" | Miami
| 70 || 70 || 28.4 || .529 || .000 || .720 || 7.0 || 1.3 || .4 || 1.4 || 13.6
|-
| align="left" | 2010–11
| align="left" | Boston
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...


| 24 || 10 || 18.0 || .459 || .000 || .674 || 3.7 || .5 || .1 || 1.2 || 5.4
|-
| align="left" | Career
| align="left" |
| 887 || 656 || 28.0 || .465 || .147 || .710 || 7.4 || 1.5 || .5 || 1.9 || 14.0
|-
| align="left" | All-Star
| align="left" |
| 5 || 2 || 24.0 || .478 || .000 || .667 || 7.6 || .8 || .8 || 1.4 || 11.2

Playoffs



|-
| align="left" | 1997
1997 NBA Playoffs
The 1997 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1996–97 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls winning the NBA championship by defeating the Western Conference champion Utah Jazzfour games to two...


| align="left" | Portland
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...


| 2 || 0 || 2.0 || .000 || .000 || .000 || .5 || .0 || .0 || .5 || .0
|-
| align="left" | 1998
1998 NBA Playoffs
The 1998 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1997-98 NBA season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls winning their sixth championship of the decade by defeating the Western Conference champion Utah Jazz four...


| align="left" | Portland
| 1 || 0 || 3.0 || .000 || .000 || .000 || 1.0 || .0 || .0 || 2.0 || .0
|-
| align="left" | 1999
1999 NBA Playoffs
The 1999 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1998-99 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs by defeating the eighth-seeded Eastern Conference champion New York Knicks four games to one...


| align="left" | Portland
| 9 || 0 || 6.1 || .400 || .000 || .500 || 1.9 || .1 || .0 || .3 || 1.6
|-
| align="left" | 2000
2000 NBA Playoffs
The 2000 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1999–2000 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers win their first championship in twelve years by defeating the Eastern Conference champion Indiana Pacers...


| align="left" | Portland
| 8 || 0 || 4.8 || .273 || .000 || .667 || .9 || .1 || .0 || .4 || 1.5
|-
| align="left" | 2001
2001 NBA Playoffs
The 2001 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2000–01 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers winning their second consecutive championship by defeating the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers...


| align="left" | Indiana
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


| 4 || 4 || 39.3 || .436 || .000 || .500 || 12.5 || 1.8 || .0 || 2.5 || 9.8
|-
| align="left" | 2002
2002 NBA Playoffs
The 2002 NBA Playoffs were the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2001–02 season. This would be the final postseason that held a best-of-5 first-round series; next year's postseason would see those series expanded to a best-of-7 format...


| align="left" | Indiana
| 5 || 5 || 38.4 || .447 || .000 || .750 || 7.6 || 1.0 || .8 || 1.6 || 17.2
|-
| align="left" | 2003
2003 NBA Playoffs
The 2003 NBA playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2002-03 NBA season. This postseason was notable for being the first time all series were conducted in a best-of-7 format. It was also the only time in playoff history that no team was swept in a first-round series....


| align="left" | Indiana
| 6 || 6 || 45.3 || .467 || .000 || .785 || 17.5 || .7 || .5 || 3.0 || 22.8
|-
| align="left" | 2004
2004 NBA Playoffs
The 2004 NBA Playoffs were the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2003–04 season. Consisting of 16 teams in two conferences, the playoffs involved about two months of play. The playoffs were conducted in seven-game series, with the team with the better record holding home court...


| align="left" | Indiana
| 16 || 16 || 37.8 || .423 || .000 || .700 || 9.1 || 1.2 || .5 || 2.2 || 19.2
|-
| align="left" | 2005
2005 NBA Playoffs
The 2005 NBA Playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2004–05 season.The San Antonio Spurs, the number two ranked team in the Western Conference, won the 2005 NBA Playoffs by defeating the defending champions, the Detroit Pistons, 4-3 in the NBA Finals...


| align="left" | Indiana
| 13 || 13 || 36.6 || .365 || .000 || .750 || 8.0 || 2.2 || .5 || 2.6 || 16.0
|-
| align="left" | 2006
2006 NBA Playoffs
The 2006 NBA Playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2005–06 season. The Miami Heat won the first championship in the history of the franchise by defeating the Dallas Mavericks 4-2 in the 2006 NBA Finals...


| align="left" | Indiana
| 6 || 6 || 36.0 || .524 || .000 || .717 || 7.5 || 1.7 || .5 || 2.3 || 21.0
|-
| align="left" | 2009
2009 NBA Playoffs
The 2009 NBA Playoffs was the postseason for the National Basketball Association's 2008–09 season. The playoffs started on April 18, 2009 with ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV broadcasting the games in the United States...


| align="left" | Miami
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...


| 6 || 5 || 27.0 || .549 || .000 || .750 || 4.5 || 1.5 || .5 || 1.5 || 13.3
|-
| align="left" | 2010
2010 NBA Playoffs
The 2010 NBA Playoffs was the postseason for the National Basketball Association's 2009–10 season. The playoffs started on April 17, 2010 with ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and NBA TV broadcasting the games in the United States...


| align="left" | Miami
| 5 || 5 || 23.4 || .205 || .000 || .429 || 5.6 || 1.0 || .8 || 2.0 || 4.2
|-
| align="left" | 2011
2011 NBA Playoffs
The 2011 NBA Playoffs was the postseason for the National Basketball Association's 2010–11 season. Eight teams from each of the league's two conferences qualified for the playoffs, all seeded 1 to 8 in a tournament bracket, with all rounds in a best-of-seven format. The 2011 NBA Playoffs began on...


| align="left" | Boston
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...


| 9 || 9 || 21.9 || .488 || .000 || .909 || 4.2 || .9 || .2 || 1.8 || 5.8
|-
| align="left" | Career
| align="left" |
| 90 || 69 || 27.7 || .421 || .000 || .717 || 6.7 || 1.1 || .4 || 1.8 || 12.0

International career



Following his breakout season in 2000–01, O'Neal earned a spot on Team USA for the 2001 Goodwill Games
Goodwill Games
The Goodwill Games was an international sports competition, created by Ted Turner in reaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympic Games of the 1980s...

. The Americans won all of their five games and the gold medal, and O'Neal led the team in blocks and shooting percentage, while finishing second in points and rebounds. The 2002 NBA Most Improved Player was selected to represent his nation again in the 2002 World Basketball Championship which was held in Indianapolis. This time round, the Americans had a lackluster tournament, and could only finish sixth. O'Neal averaged 7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds over eight games. The next year, Team USA staged a comeback in the 2003 Tournament of the Americas. Winning all its ten games and the gold medal, the team qualified for the 2004 Olympics. O'Neal featured in every game in that tournament, averaging 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest. While he was earmarked as a core member of the team that would compete in the Olympics, a knee injury prevented him from participating in the games.

NBA achievements

  • NBA All-Star: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • All-NBA:
  • Second Team: 2004
  • Third Team: 2002, 2003
  • NBA Most Improved Player Award: 2002
  • NBA Magic Johnson Award: 2004
  • Holds the Pacers franchise records for:
  • Most blocks in a game: 10 (January 22, 2003 vs. the Toronto Raptors
    Toronto Raptors
    The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's re-expansion...

    )
  • Most blocks in a season: 228 (2000–01)
  • Most rebounds in a playoffs game: 22 (April 29, 2003 vs. Boston Celtics
    Boston Celtics
    The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

    )
  • Highest rebounding average in a playoff series: 17.5 (2003 Eastern Conference First Round vs. Boston Celtics)
  • Most free throws attempted in a game: 25 (January 4, 2005 vs. the Milwaukee Bucks
    Milwaukee Bucks
    The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. They are part of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and currently plays at the Bradley Center....

    )

Personal life


O'Neal is married and has two children, a boy and a girl. He also owns a recording studio named Bogota Entertainment, located in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is home to 5,268,860 people and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in...

.

See also


External links