Shaquille O’Neal is a certified legend in NBA basketball. Although his numbers and minutes have been over the past few years, big Shaq Diesel is still a force to be reckoned with.
On Wednesday night (January 19), when the Cleveland Cavs earned a win over the Toronto Raptors, Shaq reached a major milestone when he hit a layup in the first minute to score his 28,000th career point.
Although the vet was proud of the achievement, he felt it was long overdue.
“I’ve missed like 5,000 free throws,” O’Neal said, following the game. “If I had at least hit half of those, then I would be at 30,000 right now.”
O’Neal scored 16 points, 5 rebounds, and assisted on two big baskets down the stretch.
Big Shaq joined a list of elite NBA scorers that include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Michael Jordan (32,292) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) as the only players to reach the milestone.
Shaq is now in the #5 spot.
“I’m happy being No. 5. There are some great names in front of me and some great names behind me,” O’Neal said. “I’ve always been a player that only gets happy about the big picture. It’s a great milestone but it’s something I don’t get too giddy about.”
With 4,000+ points ahead of him to reach Chamberlain’s number, it’s likely Shaq will retire in the #5 spot.
He’s in his 19th season, and at 37 years old and turning one year older in March, it’s unclear how much longer Big Shaq will play in the league. Either way, he’s one-of-a-kind and the sport is lucky to have him. Congrats Big SHAQ!