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DAR Sports: The 6 Greatest Shaquille O'Neal Seasons

By @TrueGodImmortal


One of the greatest Centers of all time and one of the most dominant players to play the game, Shaq was truly one of a kind. At his peak, he was the most dominant player of his era, taking over the post, dunking at will and using his size to block any and every shot that came his way. Today, we wanted to take a brief look at the 6 greatest seasons of his career. Which seasons rank at the top? Let's take a look.

6. 2001-2002
(27.2 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 2.8 BPG, NBA Champion, Finals MVP, All-NBA, All-Star)



-I love the Kobe and Shaq years, but the truth is, the last year of their threepeat run is their least impressive. Sure, Shaq was still dominant, but Kobe was coming into his own and while Shaq still put up great numbers, this year isn't as great as the previous two. That aside, you could still see the fire in Shaq on the court, as he maintained his position as the most dominant center and would coast to another Finals MVP and his third title. Shaq was a special player and while this year could possibly be ranked higher due to the title win, I personally think that this season was more about Shaq and Kobe finding their balance instead of just pure Shaq dominance.

5. 1992-1993
(23.4 PPG, 13.9 RPG, 3.5 BPG, 56% FG, Rookie Of The Year, All-Star)



-I chose this season over the last season of the threepeat for a few reasons. One, Shaq was honestly an entirely different animal in Orlando than he was in Los Angeles. His athletic prowess was ridiculous and his work ethic was actually something to rave about way back when. He was a force, coming into the league averaging almost 4 blocks a game, 14 rebounds, and 23 points, while instantly improving the Magic team and winning Rookie Of The Year in the process. This season remains one of my favorite Shaq years, mostly due to the fact that he was a phenom dedicated to making an impact and changing the game.

4. 1993-1994
(29.3 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 2.9 BPG, 60% FG, All-Star)




-The second season of his career was filled with amazing defense, athleticism, and most of all, a 50 win season that saw the new duo of Shaq and Penny begin a journey that should have netted more success, but the playoffs didn't showcase what they can do as they were swept by the Pacers. Still, Shaq this season was the leader, carrying the team while Penny was getting introduced to the NBA game properly. It is crazy thinking of the strides that Shaq made in one year, raising his dominance to an even higher level than his rookie season. All in all, Shaq put the league on notice that he was about to take over.

3. 2000-2001
(28.7 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 2.8 BPG, NBA Champion, All-Defensive, All-NBA, Finals MVP)



-One of the best back to back runs ever. Shaq wasn't as amazing as the year prior, but he did more than enough to earn himself MVP contention and of course best player in the world talk yet again. Kobe was coming into his own and this would be his breakout season, resulting in one of the most impressive playoff runs ever. Before that however, we watched a small power struggle between Shaq and Kobe, as both men wanted to be the alpha dog, and in the playoffs, they figured it out fairly well. After going 15-1 in the playoffs, winning back to back titles, and another Finals MVP, this is a definite top 3 Shaq season, and it might even be top 2 if you feel that way. The Shaq and Kobe era was underway and they were completely focused on holding the reign for another few years.

2. 1994-1995
(29.3 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 58% FG, Scoring Title, NBA Finals Appearance)



-The third season for Shaq saw him in contention for a scoring title, pushing the Orlando Magic to a better record and the playoffs, as well as the no. 1 seed in the East. This season positioned the Magic for the future, but unfortunately, their run didn't last beyond this season. I fully believe Shaq was deserving of the MVP award this season, as he was pivotal to his team, played good defense, maintained his dominant court presence, and helped push them to the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, they would lose in the Finals, but for the most part, this Magic team was special and Shaq was the leader.

1. 1999-2000
(29.7 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 3.0 BPG, 57% FG, NBA MVP, NBA Champion, Scoring Champion, Finals MVP, All-Star, All-Defensive, All-NBA)



-The best Shaq season will always be the first title run, where he was magnificent from start to finish. He was good defensively, unstoppable offensively, and was completely dominant through this year, leading the Lakers to a 67 win season. Before Kobe really came of age, this was the season that Shaq truly asserted himself as the top player in the league and would walk away with a title and a Finals MVP to go along with his second scoring title and the regular season MVP award. When Shaq came to the Lakers, he set out to win a title and dominate, and there is no season that quite showcases him at his best like this one. 

-True

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