Shaquille O'Neal was an absolute force of nature when he entered the NBA. One of the most anticipated prospects to enter the league in 1992, Shaq was the consensus first overall pick in his draft class.
O'Neal went to the Orlando Magic, and they had a star for the future in their franchise. Shaq immediately established himself as a star in the league. There was a lot of excitement for Shaq's debut.
And to say he delivered would be a massive understatement. O'Neal had an incredible first week in the NBA, as he slotted into the Magic's starting line-up without any hesitation and became a starter for the franchise.
In his first five games, Shaq averaged incredible numbers and showed exactly why he was a sought-after prospect in the NBA. During his first five games in the NBA, he averaged 25.8 points, 16.4 rebounds, 3.4 blocks per game on 57.1% shooting.
For his incredible showing in the first week, O'Neal was named the NBA Player Of The Week. The fact that a rookie came into the NBA and was named player of the week in his first-ever week playing in the NBA is truly incredible.
While Shaq's stint in Orlando was short, it was absolutely memorable. Within just 4 years, Shaq formed a solid tandem with Penny Hardaway and turned the Magic into a contender.
Shaq helped the Magic hand Michael Jordan his only NBA playoff series loss between 1991 to 1998. In that very same playoff run, O'Neal and the Magic reached the NBA Finals but were outmatched by Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets.
Shaq left the Magic the next season to join the Lakers and went on to have a legendary career. He won 3 consecutive NBA championships in LA alongside Kobe, going on to win 1 more NBA championship with Dwyane Wade in the Miami Heat.
By the end of O'Neal's career, he was without a doubt, the most dominant player in the history of the NBA. And with the benefit of hindsight, fans and analysts should have known this would be the case after his incredible first-week performance.