Inspiration & Sports


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Shaquille O’Neal’s basketball imprint in the Lakerland will surely be hard to duplicate.

This is not to take away anything from other former Laker great big men like the George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain or even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but definitely, Shaq has left his own brand of basketball in the proud city of Los Angeles.

shaq dunkHis power coupled with amazing footwork and speed, made him a deadly low-post operator during his prime.

In fact, his best NBA days happened not in Orlando, which drafted him first overall during the 1992 NBA Draft, but with the Lakers. Yes, he did win another championship with Miami in 2006, the Heat franchise’s first-ever, but obviously, Dwyane Wade was the team’s main anchor during that championship run.

With the Lakers, Shaq helped bring back the championship glories of Los Angeles together with a young Kobe Bryant, which ended a 12-year NBA title drought in 2000 as LA beat the Indiana Pacers, 4-2 in the Finals.

Shaq carried the Lakers past the Philadelphia 76ers followed by the New Jersey Nets in the next two seasons to complete an NBA “three-peat”.

The 7’2″ NBA great will have his famed no. 34 Lakers jersey retired on April 2 when Los Angeles host the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center.

O’Neal retired on June 2011 after playing an injury-plagued season with the Boston Celtics. By then, he had amassed 28,596 points, 13,099 rebounds and 2,732 blocks in 1,207 games.

Here’s a video tribute on Shaquille O’Neal as narrated by another Laker great James Worthy…

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Shaquille O’Neal is considered by far as the most powerful player to ever dominate the game of basketball.

Maximizing his 7’1” frame and 325-pound weight, the single-powerful force in the middle dunked his way for points or simply overpowered his defenders during his colorful 19-year NBA career.

As the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, the Louisiana State University product immediately made an impact, turning the Orlando Magic into instant title contender. He led the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals where they were eventually swept by Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets, 4-0.

ShaqHe then moved to the Los Angeles Lakers, leading the purple-and-gold franchise to a three-peat from 2000-2002. He later on brought his power-playing ways to Miami in 2004 and in his third season, led the Heat to the 2006 NBA title.

He also played briefly for the Phoenix Suns, joined forces with Lebron James in Cleveland, before ending his career with the Boston Celtics in 2010-2011.

At the end of the 2011 season, Shaq called it quits as he compiled 28,596 points, 13,099 rebounds and 2,732 blocks in 1,207 games.

By the time he retired, no one has equalled or surpassed what he has done on the court. And it would probably take another lifetime to see a player of his magnitude.

Things have changed a lot in the post-Shaq era. No more overpowering dunks. No more big smile or clowning from a 7’1″ guy before the start of the game or just before giving in for an interview.

Change. It’s simply a natural part of our lives.

Few things stay the same. Brand new jeans will fade in a few years. Friends may come and go. Teachers come in and out of our lives.

But there’s one that never changes: God.

Malachi 3:6, I am the Lord, I do not change.

We can all count on Him in every circumstance we face because He is the One God who cares and loves forever.

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