Here Are 16 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Shaq, Who Turns 41 Today
Sixteen Shaqtoids for the Big Baryshnikov's special day
Shaquille O’Neal celebrates his 41st birthday today. Here are 16 things you probably don’t know about the massive man of multitudinous monikers.
1. He earned a doctoral degree — not an honorary doctorate — in education.
His capstone topic was “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles.”
2. He made exactly one 3-pointer in his entire career.
3. He recorded the highest maximum vertical reach ever measured in pre-draft workouts.
He could extend 12 feet, 5 inches from a standing position.
4. If Kobe missed his next 5,468 foul shots in a row, he’d still have a better career free-throw rate than Shaq’s 52.7 percent.
Only Wilt Chamberlain missed more free throws (5,805) than Shaq (5,317).
5. That said, he ranks 19th all-time in free throws made.
Ahead of Elgin Baylor, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Tim Duncan and John Havlicek.
6. He’s released four studio albums.
That’s in addition to a pair of compilation albums, two soundtracks, one unreleased album and nine singles. His debut record, 1993′s Shaq Diesel, went platinum.
7. He challenged Hakeem Olajuwon to a game of one-on-one with a typewritten and signed note shortly after losing to the Rockets in the 1995 NBA Finals.
The idea gathered steam, with Taco Bell even signing on to sponsor it as a pay-per-view event, but it never came off.
8. During the Screen Actors Guild strike of 2000, he was fined by the union for crossing the picket line to perform in a Disney commercial.
He was denounced as a scab when he filmed an “I’m going to Disneyland!” spot after winning his first NBA title.
9. He was supposed to be with Biggie Smalls the night the rapper was killed.
The two had recorded a song together in 1993.
10. He was given an honorary U.S. Deputy Marshal title in 2005 and joined a task force to track down sexual predators who target children on the Internet.
Call him The Big Chris Hansen.
11. He offered to pay for all funeral expenses for George Mikan.
The family accepted.
12. Future teammate Glen “Big Baby” Davis was 15 when he challenged Shaq to a wrestling match.
It ended with Davis lifting O’Neal up and bodyslamming him to the ground.
13. He earned an MBA online through the University of Phoenix in 2005.
“It’s just something to have on my resume (for) when I go back into reality,” he said.
14. He nearly collabed on a song with the Smashing Pumpkins during the late ’90s.
Billy Corgan’s backing track for the demo was loosely based on Dr. Dre.
He became a member of Widow’s Son Lodge No. 28 in Boston in 2011.
16. He’s tried to visit the president three times. Just to say hi.
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