Suns Acquire Shaquille O’Neal
PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns today acquired four-time NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal from the Miami Heat in exchange for forward Shawn Marion and guard Marcus Banks, pending completion of physical examinations by both teams.
“We’re thrilled to add a player and person of Shaquille’s quality to our roster,” President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr said. “We believe this addition strengthens our team. We thank Shawn and Marcus for their contributions to our team. Shawn in particular has been a tremendous player for this organization the past eight-and-a-half years and his impact both on and off the court in Phoenix will not be forgotten.”
In the 7-1, 325-pound O’Neal, Phoenix acquires one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players and one of the most prolific scorers in league history. O’Neal owns a career scoring average of 25.6 points, the ninth-highest in league history, and ranks 11th all-time in scoring (25,908) in 1,013 career games. The 16-year veteran is a career 58.0 percent shooter, third-highest in NBA history, and has led the league in field goal accuracy nine times, matching Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time record. O’Neal has averaged 11.5 rebounds (21st-NBA history) and grabbed 11,630 (21st) boards as a member of the Orlando Magic (1992-97), Los Angeles Lakers (1997-2004) and Miami Heat (2005-2008). The three-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team honoree (2000, 2001, 2003) ranks 8th all-time in blocks (2,485).
O’Neal, 35, won three NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002) and one with the Miami Heat (2006). A three-time NBA Finals MVP (2000, 2001, 2002), O’Neal owns career playoff averages of 25.5 points (10th), 12.1 rebounds and 2.19 blocks and is a career 56.6 percent (6th) shooter from the field in the postseason. Shaq has pulled down the third-most rebounds in NBA playoff history (2,401) and blocked the third-most shots (433).
The Louisiana State product, who won a gold medal as a member of the 1996 USA Men’s Senior National Team, was named the 1999-2000 NBA MVP after averaging 29.7 points and 13.6 rebounds for the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. O’Neal is a 13-time All-NBA First Team selection, a 14-time All-Star and the 1992-93 Rookie of the Year.
Originally selected with the first overall pick of the 1992 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, Shaq signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers on July 18, 1996, before being acquired by the Heat on July 14, 2004, in exchange for Caron Butler, Brian Grant, Lamar Odom and a future first-round pick.
Marion has played all nine of his professional seasons with the Suns after being selected by Phoenix with the ninth overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. The UNLV product owns career averages of 18.4 points and 10.0 rebounds in 660 games (647 starts). The four-time All-Star is second in minutes played in franchise history (24,948), fourth in points (12,134), second in rebounds (6,616), second in steals (1,245) and third in blocked shots (894). Amaré Stoudemire, in his sixth season with Phoenix, is now the longest-tenured Sun.
Banks signed with the Suns on July 20, 2006 and in just over one season has averaged 5.0 points, 0.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 11.8 minutes in 69 games (two starts) for Phoenix.
The three-time defending Pacific Division Champion Phoenix Suns own the best record in the Western Conference (34-14) and tonight host the New Orleans Hornets (32-15, 1.5 games back) at 7 p.m. at US Airways Center. All the action can be seen on FSN Arizona and heard on Sports 620 KTAR.