They sought the free-agent services of forward Karl Malone and aging guard Gary Payton , but due to salary cap restrictions, could not offer either one nearly as much money as they could have made with some other teams. O'Neal's third season in —95 had him leading the NBA in scoring with a O'Neal referred to Divac as "she", and said he would never exaggerate contact to draw a foul. I was trying to take the charge, trying to get a call.
Army base at Wildflecken , West Germany. He did not want to rush a decision with his career potentially at risk. His role in the offense diminished, as he attempted only 10 field goals per game, versus his career average of They sought the free-agent services of forward Karl Malone and aging guard Gary Payton , but due to salary cap restrictions, could not offer either one nearly as much money as they could have made with some other teams. In addition, O'Neal was plagued by fouls, and during one stretch fouled out of five consecutive games. Lakers assistant coach Tex Winter said, "Shaq defeated himself against Detroit. They then defeated the Chicago Bulls in the conference semifinals. Let's stand up and play like men, and I think our guy did that tonight. O'Neal's stepfather was stationed on a U. He led the league with a The Lakers finished the season 61—21, first in the Pacific Division , and were the second seed in the western conference during the NBA Playoffs. Jackson had previously said, "The only person I've ever [coached] that hasn't been a worker O'Neal with Phoenix teammate Steve Nash. While the Olympic basketball team was training in Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel published a poll that asked whether the Magic should fire Hill if that were one of O'Neal's conditions for returning. The Lakers had hoped O'Neal would take less money due to his age, physical conditioning, and games missed due to injuries. The Lakers won, — Riley felt doing so would allow O'Neal to be healthier and fresher come playoff time. He played way too passively. The Lakers made the playoffs, but were eliminated in the second round by the Utah Jazz in five games. Although O'Neal averaged career lows or near-lows in points, rebounds, and blocks, he said in an interview "Stats don't matter. O'Neal played well in his first Finals appearance, averaging 28 points on The Heat led by Wade and a balanced effort by O'Neal, Antoine Walker and Jason Williams would go on to win all three of the next games at home, before closing out the series in Dallas to deliver the first NBA title for the franchise and O'Neal's fourth title. He punched center Brad Miller after an intentional foul to prevent a basket, resulting in a melee with Miller, forward Charles Oakley , and several other players. Although they made the playoffs , they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs , led by Tim Duncan and David Robinson in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. In the summer of , O'Neal was named to the United States Olympic basketball team , and was later part of the gold medal-winning team at the Olympics in Atlanta.
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