NBA: The day Shaquille O’Neal made his NBA debut
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the greatest and biggest players ever to play in the NBA. We all know about his endless achievements as a basketball player. He is a 4-time NBA Champion, 15-time NBA All-Star, 3-time NBA finals MVP ,and a Hall of Famer.
Let me take you back to the day when this great player made his NBA debut. Shaq was a great star in college before coming to the NBA which lead to Orlando Magic selecting him as the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. Shaq was 7' 1" tall, weighed 301 pounds, had a 36" vertical with just 10% body fat during that time.
Shaq made his NBA debut on 6th of November in 1992 against the Miami Heat. He did not disappoint on his debut as he tallied 12 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocks. His 18 rebounds were the most on NBA debut after Bill Walton in 1974.
His teammates Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott were having a great offensive night. Nick Anderson scored a career-high 42 points, whereas Dennis Scott scored 27. Due to this, Shaq only attempted 8 shots and scored just 12 points. But his presence was felt on the defensive end, where he dominated everybody.
Miami's centre Rony Seikaly was guarding Shaq that day and was shocked by the amount of power that Shaq had.
This is what he said:
“When he leaned on me, it was like a house falling on you.”
Check out the highlights of Shaq's debut:
Shaq averaged 23 points, 14 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game in his rookie season. He became the first player in the NBA history to win "Player of the Week" title in his first week in the league. He also went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award that season.