Shaquille O’Neal: Dominating the NBA from Day One

Shaquille O’Neal: Dominating the NBA from Day One

First pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, Shaquille O’Neal did not need an adjustment period upon his arrival in the League. Dominant from his first matches, the interior became the first rookie in history to win the Player of the Week title for his NBA debut.

It’s time to grab the DeLorean and take a little leap into the past. Well… a little step anyway because we are going to go back almost 30 years to talk about the beginnings of a certain Shaquille O’Neal. Like Victor Wembanyama in 2023, Shaq already had an incredible reputation when he arrived in the NBA. Extremely dominant with LSU at the university level, O’Neal made all NBA scouts drool and the media heralded him as one of the faces of the future of the NBA. It must be said that the guy doesn’t do things by halves in the NCAA. During his last season with LSU (he stayed 3 years), Shaq averaged 24 points, 14 rebounds and more than 5 blocks per game!

Despite his individual domination among young people, O’Neal nevertheless missed the wagon for the 1992 Dream Team which flew to the Barcelona Olympics. The selection committee actually preferred to take Christian Laettner, the Duke star and double NCAA champion. A disappointment for the Big Cactus but he will take his nerves out on the opposing interiors from his debut in the NBA.

His first NBA game is already very solid. Against the Heat, O’Neal compiled 12 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocks, even if the 8 lost balls were a bit of a stain on the table. The rest of his first week will be of another standard. He planted 35 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against the Hornets or a match with 31 points, 21 rebounds and 4 blocks against the Bullets.

Detailed stats for Shaquille O’Neal in his first week in the NBA

vs Miami: 12 points, 18 rebounds, 3 blocks, 8 lost balls, 50% shooting.
vs Washington: 22 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 loose balls, 50% shooting.
vs Charlotte: 35 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks, 4 loose balls, 60% shooting.
vs Washington: 31 points, 21 rebounds, 4 blocks, 6 loose balls, 63% shooting.
vs New Jersey: 29 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, 56% shooting.

Rony Seikaly, then pivot for the Heat, already announces the color for those who will have to manage the man in the future.

“When he leaned on me, it was like a house fell on me.”

With 25.8 points, 16.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 3.4 blocks at 57.1% shooting, Shaquille O’Neal is having a monstrous first week in the NBA. So monstrous that the NBA named him Eastern Conference Player of the Week. It was then the first time in the history of the League that a rookie won this award in his first week. Since then, only Michael Carter-Williams has joined Shaq in this very exclusive club.

For his first year in the League, Shaq finished Rookie of the Year, All-Star (first rookie to be a starter since Michael Jordan), and even 7th in the votes for the MVP. A taste of the skills of the man who is considered one of the most dominant players in the history of the orange ball.

2023-11-06 08:48:00
#Shaquille #ONeal #Player #Week.. #week #NBA

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