Orlando Magic

This Date in NBA History (May 6): Shaquille O'Neal named 1993 Rookie of the Year

On May 6 in 1993, Shaquille O'Neal was named Rookie of the Year after his dazzling campaign for the Orlando Magic.

O'Neal entered the league with huge expectations and the larger-than-life big man more than delivered, averaging 23.4 points (eighth in the NBA) on 56.2% shooting, 13.9 rebounds (second), and 3.53 blocks per game.

More importantly, he led the Magic to a 41-41 record that season, a 20 win improvement on the season prior and was also named as an All-Star starter - the first rookie to be voted as an All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1985.

The no.1 pick in the 1992 draft, O'Neal wasted no time showing the league what he was capable of, opening his NBA career with 12 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks in a win over the Miami Heat.

Other notable events on May 6:

  • In 1970, the Los Angeles Lakers went 57-of-94 from the field (.606) in their 135-113 Game 6 win over the New York in the NBA Finals, setting an NBA record for field goal percentage in a Finals game. That record would stand for 15 years. In that same game, they registered 44 assists, a Finals record that would stand for 17 years, until it was tied by the 1987 Lakers.
  • In 1985, NBA legends Billy Cunningham, Tom Heinsohn and Red Holzman were among six players inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • In 1996, the Seattle SuperSonics (20) and Houston Rockets (13) combine for 33 three-point field goals made in Game 2 of their Western Conference Semifinal series, a 105-101 Seattle win. The 33 made three-pointers made is the most ever in an NBA playoff game.
  • In 1996, George Gervin, David Thompson, Gail Goodrich and George Yardley are four of the six individuals inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The other two inductees are Kresimir Cosic and Nancy Lieberman-Cline.
  • In 1997, Los Angeles Laker Robert Horry set an NBA playoff record, going 7-pf-7 from the three-point line in their 103-101 loss to the Utah Jazz in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
  • In 1998, Michael Jordan becomes the first player in history to be selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times
  • In 2000, Indiana Pacers Reggie Miller and Jalen Rose each scored 40 points in their 108-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. They became the fourth pair of teammates in NBA history to score 40 or more points in the same playoff game and the first since Clyde Drexler (41) and Hakeem Olajuwon (40) in 1995.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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