Posted March 07, 2013

Here Are 16 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Shaq, Who Turns 41 Today

Sixteen Shaqtoids for the Big Baryshnikov's special day

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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.”

Aaron Davidson/WireImage

Aaron Davidson/WireImage


2. He made exactly one 3-pointer in his entire career.

Same as Kareem.


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.

Louisiana State University/Getty Images

Louisiana State University/Getty Images


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.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images


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.

Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Focus on Sport/Getty Images


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.

@si_vault

@si_vault


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.

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images


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.

NBC

NBC


11. He offered to pay for all funeral expenses for George Mikan.

The family accepted.

Peter Read Miller/SI

Peter Read Miller/SI


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.

tumblr.com

tumblr.com


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.

University-of-phoenix-flag


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.

grungereport.net

grungereport.net


15. He is a Freemason.

He became a member of Widow’s Son Lodge No. 28 in Boston in 2011.

beginningandend.com

beginningandend.com


16. He’s tried to visit the president three times. Just to say hi.

Alas.


Follow Bryan Armen Graham on Twitter.

6 comments
JefTravis
JefTravis

I can't find any trace of the "Widow's Son Lodge #28" in Boston on Google of the Grand Lodge of Boston's official website.  Anyone got a legit link to Shaq's lodge?


MWB10
MWB10

"He could extend 12 feet, 5 inches without leaving the floor." Might want to check this one, champ.

JayD
JayD

considering hes 7' 1" tall, about half of that is your arm, so that puts it a around 10' 5".  and its not uncommon for these athletes to be freakish in nature and fit normal body lengths.  so an extended arm length at 12' 5" doesnt seem that far off.  i am assuming extending from feet to tip of fingers w/o jumping.

MWB10
MWB10

@JayD So you're saying that he can reach a height that is 5' 4" above his head without jumping? Let's use some common sense here. 

ChickenWolf
ChickenWolf

@MWB10 @JayD Shaq's standing reach is about 9'8''. I think the 12'5'' included his vertical reach in addition to a stand-still vertical jump.