What All Teams Shaq Played For?

Shaquille O'Neal, also known as Shaq, is a retired professional basketball player who had an illustrious career in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Over the course of his career, he played for six teams:

1. Orlando Magic (1992-1996)
2. Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2004)
3. Miami Heat (2004-2008)
4. Phoenix Suns (2008-2009)
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010)
6. Boston Celtics (2010-2011)

Shaq had a significant impact on each team he played for, but he is perhaps best known for his time with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. He won three NBA championships with the Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002) and one with the Heat (2006). His dominant play and larger-than-life personality made him one of the most popular and influential players in NBA history.

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Shaquille O'Neal, AKA Shaq, played for the following teams during his NBA career: Orlando Magic (1992-1996) Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2004) Miami Heat (2004-2008) Phoenix Suns (2008-2009) Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010) He won three NBA championships with the Lakers and one with the Heat.

Answered from Avi Parshan

What All Teams Shaq Played For? The Ultimate Guide to Shaq's Legendary Journey Across the NBA

Shaquille O'Neal, affectionately known as “Shaq,” is considered one of the most dominant players in NBA history. His larger-than-life personality and utter dominance on the court made him a fan favorite as well as one of the game's most celebrated champions.

During his illustrious 19 seasons in the league, he played for six different franchises and won four NBA championships, cementing his legacy as a Hall of Fame talent. In this ultimate guide, we'll look back on all the teams Shaq played for during his legendary career.


Standing at 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighing 325 pounds, Shaq used his massive frame and athleticism to overpower opponents for nearly two decades in the NBA. He became known for ferociously dunking on defenders and shattering backboards and rims with his sheer power.

Shaq entered the league in 1992 as the 1st overall pick and won Rookie of the Year with the Orlando Magic before leading them to the 1995 Finals. After signing with the Lakers, he formed an iconic duo with Kobe Bryant and won three straight championships from 2000-2002, claiming three Finals MVPs along the way. As the centerpiece of the Lakers dynasty, Shaq cemented himself as the most dominant big man in the game.

He continued excelling in the latter stages of his prime after being traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, winning another championship and Finals MVP in 2006 alongside Dwyane Wade. Shaq played for four more teams to finish his illustrious career before retiring in 2011 with four rings, 15 All-Star appearances, and countless records and accolades.

Let's take a closer look at Shaq's journey across the NBA and the mark he left on every franchise fortunate enough to have him on their roster.

Table of Contents

  • Orlando Magic (1992-1996)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2004)
  • Miami Heat (2004-2008)
  • Phoenix Suns (2008-2009)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010)
  • Boston Celtics (2010-2011)
  • Statistical Dominance and Legacy

Orlando Magic (1992-1996)

After being drafted 1st overall in 1992, Shaq began his NBA career playing for the Orlando Magic from 1992 to 1996. During his four seasons in Orlando, he averaged 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. Shaq burst onto the scene by winning Rookie of the Year and leading the Magic to a massive 20-game turnaround to 41 wins.

In only his third season, he led the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals, where they were swept by the Houston Rockets. Despite the loss, Shaq emerged as one of the most dominant big men in the league after averaging 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the playoffs that year. His time in Orlando cemented his superstar status before he headed west to team up with Kobe Bryant on the Lakers.

Notable Moments from Shaq's Magic Years:

  • Won 1993 Rookie of the Year averaging 23.4 points (8th in NBA), 13.9 rebounds (2nd), and 3.5 blocks (2nd)
  • Scored 53 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 20, 1994
  • Broke the backboard at New Jersey's Meadowlands Arena during a game in 1993, one of many rims Shaq shattered in his career
  • Led the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals in just his 3rd season, sweeping Michael Jordan's Bulls before losing to the Rockets

Shaq relished being the face of the franchise in Orlando. In 1994 he said, _”When I was in Orlando, I wanted to be the man.”_1 By the time he left Orlando, he was undeniably one of the most dominant rising stars in the NBA.

Shaq's Stats with the Magic:

1992-93 81 81 39.5 .562 23.4 13.9 1.9 .7 3.5
1993-94 81 81 39.8 .599 29.3 13.2 2.4 .9 2.9
1994-95 81 81 37.0 .583 29.3 11.4 2.7 .5 2.4
1995-96 54 52 36.9 .573 26.6 11.0 2.1 .6 2.1

Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2004)

In 1996, Shaq signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he played eight seasons and won three consecutive championships alongside Kobe Bryant. As soon as he joined the Lakers, Shaq re-energized the franchise and led them to a 56-26 record – a massive 26 game improvement over the previous season.

In the 2000 NBA Finals, he was named Finals MVP after dominating the Indiana Pacers and claiming his first NBA title. The Lakers went on to three-peat from 2000 to 2002 behind Shaq's utter dominance. During his time with the Lakers, he averaged 27 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. Teaming up with Kobe to win three straight titles cemented Shaq's legacy as one of the most dominating centers the game has ever seen.

Memorable Moments from the Lakers Dynasty:

  • In the 2000 WCF Game 7 versus Portland, Shaq scored 18 of his 25 points in the 4th quarter and overtime periods to propel LA to the Finals
  • The famous “Kobe to Shaq” alley-oop combo became a signature highlight of their lethal partnership
  • Shaq gave himself the nickname “The Big Aristotle” during his time in LA for his philosophical musings
  • In the 2001 Finals, Shaq averaged 33 points and 16 rebounds against the 76ers, cementing himself as the most dominant player in the NBA

As Shaq said reflecting on the Lakers years, _”We had such a great camaraderie, we loved playing with each other. Every day was fun.”_2 The generational duo of Shaq and Kobe captivated the basketball world and made the Lakers must-see entertainment night in and night out.

Shaq's Key Stats & Achievements with the Lakers:

1996-97 51 51 39.5 .557 26.2 12.5 3.1 2.9
1997-98 60 58 38.9 .584 28.3 11.4 2.4 2.4
1998-99 49 49 34.8 .576 26.3 10.7 2.3 1.7
1999-00 79 79 40.0 .574 29.7 13.6 3.8 3.0
2000-01 74 74 39.5 .572 28.7 12.7 3.7 2.8
2001-02 67 66 36.1 .579 27.2 10.7 3.0 2.0
2002-03 67 67 37.8 .574 27.5 11.5 3.1 2.4
2003-04 67 67 36.8 .584 21.5 11.5 2.9 2.3
  • 3× NBA champion (2000–2002)
  • 3× NBA Finals MVP (2000–2002)
  • 4× NBA Western Conference champion (2000–2002, 2004)
  • NBA scoring champion (2000)
  • 7× NBA All-Star (1997–2004)
  • 3 × All-NBA First Team (2000–2002)
  • All-Rookie First Team (1993)

Miami Heat (2004-2008)

Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat in July 2004, where he spent the remainder of his prime playing alongside Dwyane Wade. In his very first season with the Heat, Shaq helped lead the franchise to its first ever NBA Championship in 2006. He dominated the 2006 Finals with averages of 13.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks, earning the distinction of the fourth NBA player to win Finals MVP with multiple teams.

Across his four seasons in Miami, Shaq averaged 19.6 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks as the Heat became perennial contenders. His role evolved into more of a defensive anchor and mentor to the emerging Dwyane Wade, forming one of the NBA's all-time great duos. Here are some highlights of Shaq's Miami years:

  • Scored 24 points and grabbed 11 boards in 30 minutes during his Heat debut in 2004
  • Led the Heat to a franchise best 59-23 record in the 2005-2006 season en route to Miami's first title
  • His iconic “barbecue chicken alert” line became a signature call whenever he got the ball deep in the post
  • Passed Walt Bellamy to move into 7th on the NBA all-time scoring list as a member of the Heat in 2006

As Shaq's Lakers teammate Gary Payton said on their reunion in Miami: _”I am excited. I get to play with another great player. It is going to be fun again.”_3 The chance to win another ring lured Payton and several former Lakers to join forces once again.

Key Achievements in Miami:

  • NBA Champion (2006)
  • NBA Finals MVP (2006)
  • 3× NBA Eastern Conference Champion (2006–2008)
  • 4× NBA All-Star (2005–2008)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (2005–2006)
2004-05 73 73 34.1 .601 22.9 10.4 2.3 2.3
2005-06 59 59 30.6 .600 20.0 9.2 1.9 1.8
2006-07 40 40 30.6 .591 17.3 7.4 2.0 1.4
2007-08 33 33 28.4 .566 13.7 7.8 1.4 .9

Phoenix Suns (2008-2009)

After his time in Miami, Shaq was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 2008 where he spent just over one season. While past his prime at this stage of his career, he still averaged 15.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks over the 75 games he played for the Suns.

A highlight was scoring 45 points against the Toronto Raptors – the highest scoring game by any player over age 35. As Shaq quipped afterwards, _”The big fella still has some fuel left in the tank.”_4 Unfortunately, the Suns failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs and Shaq was traded to Cleveland the following season.

Shaq's Stats with the Suns:

2008-09 75 75 30.0 .609 15.7 8.4 1.7 1.4

Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010)

Looking to make another championship run alongside LeBron James, the Cavaliers traded for Shaq midway through the 2009-2010 season. Shaq took on a lesser role coming off the bench for much of the regular season, before becoming a starter again in the playoffs.

He averaged 12 points and 6.7 rebounds during his 53 game stint in Cleveland, but unfortunately could not get past the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. After LeBron's departure in 2010, the Cavaliers looked to rebuild and Shaq only spent one season in Cleveland before briefly retiring.

Shaq's lone season in Cleveland:

2009-10 53 38 23.4 .566 12.0 6.7 1.5 1.2

Boston Celtics (2010-2011)

After taking a year off, Shaq signed with the Boston Celtics in August 2010 for his final NBA season at age 38. Plagued by injuries, he only managed to appear in 37 games for the veteran Celtics. Shaq was relied on mostly as a role player at this stage, averaging 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in limited minutes.

He helped the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in 2011, where they lost to James' Miami Heat. After a long 19-year career filled with dominance, championships, and unforgettable moments, the “Big Aristotle” fitting called it a career after one final season in Boston.

Final season stats:

2010-11 37 17 20.3 .667 9.2 4.8 .7 .6

Reflecting on wrapping up his legendary career, Shaq said _”I'm glad I got the opportunity to do it here in Boston. It's a beautiful place to end a career.”_5 After an astonishing 19 seasons of sustained greatness, the NBA giant fittingly rode off into the sunset as a Celtic.

Statistical Dominance and Legacy

In addition to the championship glory and showstopping moments, the full breadth of Shaq's statistical dominance and records truly reveal why he is considered one of the most unstoppable forces the game has ever witnessed. He currently sits:

  • 8th All-Time in Points scored (28,596)
  • 15th All-Time in Rebounds (13,099)
  • 5th All-Time in Field Goal % (.582)
  • 3rd All-Time in Player Efficiency Rating (26.43)

Some of Shaq's other awe-inspiring career stats and records:

Career Regular Season Averages:

19 seasons 23.7 10.9 2.5 .582

At-a-Glance Career Stats and Totals:

28,596 13,099 5,227 2,732 .582 .527 1,207 26.4

Notable NBA Records:

  • Only player in NBA history to average more than 20 PPG and 10 RPG in 14 consecutive seasons (1992-2006)
  • 3rd all-time in NBA championships (4)
  • Youngest player in NBA history to reach milestone totals of 20,000 and 30,000 points
  • Oldest player in NBA history to score more than 40 points in a game (40 points at age 38 in 2010)

When all was said and done, Shaq's rare combination of overwhelming physical dominance and skills solidified him as one of the most overpowering forces the game of basketball has ever seen. He carried on the lineage of legendary centers like Wilt Chamberlain to become perhaps the most dominant big man of his era.

The sheer longevity of Shaq's prime years and multi-team success in winning titles cements his legacy as an all-time great. As Shaq himself perfectly put it: _”I tried to put a mark on this league and I think I did.”_6 There is no question that his larger-than-life persona and on-court brilliance left a permanent mark on the NBA record books and fans everywhere.

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