Shaquille O’Neal has never had a losing record in his NBA career
Muscle, aggression, dunks, and broken backboards — four things that associate well with Shaquille O’Neal, arguably the most dominant big man in the history of the NBA.
Above all of that, though, should be winning. We’re not exactly talking about rings — although his four championships speaks volumes for such a statement — but we’re talking about regular season wins.
Reddit user loujackcity brought up a trivia that only a few may have heard or read about: In his 20-year NBA career, O’Neal never ended a season with a team that has losing record. Yes, you read that right — not with the Orlando Magic, where he led a young nucleus; not with the mid-90s Los Angeles Lakers, who at the time of his arrival with the team, was a sub-par playoff team; and not with the Phoenix Suns, where three starters were in their mid-30s and on the decline.
There were two instances wherein O’Neal was close to being on a losing team — first was in the ’93 season, wherein the Magic went 41-41, barely reaching the .500 mark, and second was in the ’08 season with the Miami Heat, where he almost really did. The Heat, who concluded the year with a league-worst 15-67 record, traded Shaquille O’Neal to the Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks halfway into the season.
The three-peat with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000 to 2002 and the underdog run for a title with the Miami Heat in 2006 was great and all, but considering the draining up-and-down grind of every season, it’s also impressive to always be on a winning team for two decades straight.