Today In NBA History 1992: Shaquille O’Neal Goes #1 In NBA Draft
21 years ago tonight, Shaquille O'Neal was the first overall selection in the 1992 NBA Draft.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Has there ever been a better #1 overall NBA Draft pick in history?
At 20 years of age, Shaq was already 7-1, 300 pounds. Just look how he dwarfs David Stern in this footage:
During his junior (and final) season in college, Shaq led the NCAA in blocks and rebounding, becoming only the third seven footer in history to win the rebounding title, joining Artis Gilmore and Akeem Olajuwon.
In three years at LSU, O'Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time SEC player of the year, and was named the NCAA men's basketball player of the year in 1991.
The "Big Aristotle" couldn't have been any better during his initial NBA campaign, averaging 23.4 points,13.9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game for the season. He was named the 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year and became the first rookie voted to start an All-Star game since Michael Jordan in 1985. The Magic finished 41–41, winning 20 more games than the previous season, and Shaq became the most feared big man in the entire league.
On this same day three years later in 1995, The Toronto Raptors selected Chicago guard B. J. Armstrong with the first pick and the Vancouver Grizzlies chose guard Greg Anthony with the second selection in the Expansion Draft, as the NBA’s two newest clubs began preparation for the 1995-96 season.