Young Shaquille O’Neal spent 6 figures after 45-day hotel stay solely because of his family

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is considered one of the greatest players to ever play basketball. A force to be reckoned with, Shaq was a seven-foot monster during his playing days. He towered over players inside the paint and used his physique to get to the basket. Notably, Shaq played for many teams during his illustrious career, but he was primarily known for his time with the Lakers.

Shaq’s career began with the Orlando Magic in 1992; he was the first overall pick in the 1992 draft. Prior to entering the NBA draft, Shaq played for Louisiana State University during his college career. During his career, O’Neal won a plethora of trophies and honors, including twice All-American, twice SEC Player of the Year, and was awarded the Adolph Rupp Trophy as a basketball player. NCAA Men’s of the Year in 1991.

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During a recent episode of his podcast, “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” he recalled an incident that happened right after he was drafted by Orlando. Shaq said: “When I was drafted…I didn’t know anything about housing or anything…so I was at the airport hotel…we stayed there me and my family for 45 days…the bill was $700,000.

He continued, “ The bill was $700,000 because it was me, my dad, Ayesha and Jamal…and all we did was do room service, room service, and my dad was coming down see people at the bar and tell them to join us in the room.

Orlando Magic and the fight for the future

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Since Shaq left Orlando, there has been a lack of consistency with the franchise. They had a few spurts of success in between for a few years here and there. But success has never been constant. They drafted Dwight Howard as the No. 1 overall pick in 2004. That kept them competitive for a few years, but after he left they struggled again.

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Last night in the 2022 NBA draft, Orlando had the first overall pick. They chose the Duke product, Paolo Banchero. It was a surprise pick, as pundits had predicted Jabari Smith Jr. to be the number one pick.

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June 23, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Paolo Banchero (Duke) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the first pick by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

Along with Paolo, they also have last year’s lottery picks Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner. Not to mention players like Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. Orlando has a strong core of young players to work with. There’s still a lot of work to do, given that the Eastern conference is stronger than ever right now.

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