He was voted into the All-Star game and also made the All-NBA 3rd Team.

Teamed with newly drafted Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, the Magic finished with a record of 50–32 and made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

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They won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Amid tension between O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, and his fourth NBA championship followed in 2006.

Toney struggled with drug addiction and was imprisoned for drug possession when O'Neal was an infant. I didn't even play on a team." O'Neal's tendency to make hook shots earned comparisons to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, inspiring him to wear the same jersey number as Abdul-Jabbar, 33.

Upon his release, he did not resume a place in O'Neal's life and instead agreed to relinquish his parental rights to O'Neal's stepfather, Phillip A. On his 1994 rap album, Shaq Fu: The Return, O'Neal voiced his feelings of disdain for Toney in the song "Biological Didn't Bother", dismissing him with the line "Phil is my father." However, O'Neal's feelings toward Toney mellowed in the years following Harrison's death in 2013, and the two met for the first time in March 2016, with O'Neal telling him, "I don’t hate you. I had Phil." O'Neal credits the Boys and Girls Club of America in Newark with giving him a safe place to play and keeping him off the streets. However, jersey number 33 is not available for high school basketball players, so O'Neal chose to wear 32 before college. While playing for Brown at LSU, O'Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time SEC Player of the Year, and received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men's basketball player of the year in 1991; he was also named college player of the year by AP and UPI.

After graduating from high school, O'Neal studied business at Louisiana State University. O'Neal left LSU early to pursue his NBA career, but continued his education even after becoming a professional player.

He had first met Dale Brown, LSU's men's basketball coach, years earlier in Europe. The Orlando Magic drafted O'Neal with the 1st overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft.

Despite O'Neal's injuries, the Magic finished with a regular season record of 60–22, second in the Eastern conference to the Chicago Bulls, who finished with an NBA record 72 wins.

Orlando easily defeated the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks in the first two rounds of the 1996 NBA Playoffs; however, they were no match for Jordan's Bulls, who swept them in the Eastern Conference Finals.

He quickly became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals.

After four years with the Magic, O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers.

O'Neal became a free agent after the 1995–96 NBA season.