James Caron Butler is an American former professional basketball player. During a 14-year career he played for the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association. Butler is a two-time NBA All-Star and was the 2002 Big East Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year, while playing for the Connecticut Huskies. Butler was born and raised in Racine, where he suffered through a rough childhood. Butler discovered his love for basketball while at a youth detention center. Butler played in Amateur Athletic Union basketball in 1998 and 1999. After a brief career at Racine Park High School, he enrolled at Maine Central Institute where he was successful enough to receive a scholarship to attend the University of Connecticut to play for the Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team for coach Jim Calhoun for two years. At Connecticut, Butler developed his perimeter game.
As a freshman, Butler led the Huskies, only two years removed from a national championship, in both scoring and rebounding with 15.6 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game respectively. The summer after his freshman season he started for the US team that took home gold in the 2001 FIBA World Championship for Young Men. Butler followed his spectacular rookie campaign with an better sophomore season. Butler averaged 20.3 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore leading the Huskies to both regular season and tournament Big East titles. He was named co-Big East player of a second-team All-American. Butler led the Huskies to the Elite 8 of the NCAA basketball tournament. Despite 32 points from Butler, the Huskies lost a close game to the eventual national champion Maryland Terrapins. After the season ended, Butler declared for the NBA draft. Butler was a lottery pick in the 2002 NBA draft, selected with the 10th overall pick by the rebuilding Miami Heat. Miami would rely on Butler despite being a rookie, he would start in all 78 games he played in during the season, averaging 15.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and finished 8th in the league in steals with 1.8 per game.
Despite Miami winning just 25 games and missing the playoffs, Butler proved to be a notable rookie, winning the rookie of the month awards four times during the season while getting selected to play in the rookie challenge game at that year's All-Star weekend in Atlanta. By season's end, Butler would be named to the first team on the NBA All-Rookie Team. Miami would again enter the draft lottery, this time drafted Dwyane Wade before acquiring Lamar Odom from the Los Angeles Clippers. In the 2003–2004 season, Butler struggled with injuries that hampered him throughout the season, he would go on to start in just 56 of 68 games, his scoring average fell to 9.2 points game for the season, but Miami's balanced offense led by Wade and Eddie Jones propelled Miami into the playoffs. In the first round, the Heat faced the New Orleans Hornets and the two teams would battle in a grueling 7 games series in which the home team won every game. In game 7, Miami closed out the series with Butler scoring 23 points with 9 rebounds.
The Heat advanced to the play the top seeded Indiana Pacers, who were favored and won the first two games of the series before Miami responded with two home wins to tie the series at 2 games apiece. Butler scored 21 points with 10 rebounds in the fourth game, but the Pacers responded to win the series in 6 games. Following the season, Miami decided to change the roster and traded Butler and Brian Grant to the Los Angeles Lakers for superstar center Shaquille O'Neal; the Lakers had been a title contender but were now in rebuilding mode, led by superstar guard Kobe Bryant. Butler started in all of his 77 games in the 2004–2005 season, averaging 15.5 points a game with a career high field goal percentage of.445 percent. The Lakers struggled with injuries and a midseason coaching change however, failed to make the playoffs. Once again, the offseason meant Butler would be shipped again, as the Lakers traded him and Chucky Atkins to the Washington Wizards for Kwame Brown and Laron Profit. Upon arriving in Washington, Butler signed a 5-year, $46 million deal with the team.
He became part of Washington's new "Big 3", a trio made up of teammates Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison. Butler was nicknamed "Tough Juice" by coach Eddie Jordan for his aggressive and passionate play, epitomized by Butler's 20 rebounds in the Game 6 loss of opening-round series against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. On January 17, 2007, Butler converted his first game-winning basket, a dunk following a pass from DeShawn Stevenson with 2.2 seconds remaining against the Knicks to give the Wizards a 99–98 win. Butler was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for January 15–21, 2007, he would have his best season yet, posting career high averages in rebounds and points. He was named as a reserve to the 2007 NBA Eastern Conference All-Star team, his first appearance. However, he broke his hand late in the season attempting to block a shot and was forced to sit out during the playoffs along with the injured Gilbert Arenas as the Wizards were swept in their opening round rematch versus the Cavaliers.
Butler, sidelined with a hip injury, was selected as a reserve for the East in the 2008 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, Louisiana but was forced to sit out. Due to the injury, Butler missed 20 of the Wizards' last 35 games of the season, he returned to the lineup on March 13, when
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The center known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is the tallest player on the team, has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is 6 feet 10 inches or taller and weighs 240 pounds or more, they traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five; the center is considered a necessary component for a successful team in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA; the 6'10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career, nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the shot block. In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds. Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships, he joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes to point guard Bob Cousy.
As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach. His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275 pounds, lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award.
Stronger than any player of his era, he was capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game, he holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average, rebounds in a single game, career rebounds. A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners.
At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style, he led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot, his entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, te
Slovenia the Republic of Slovenia, is a sovereign state located in southern Central Europe at a crossroads of important European cultural and trade routes. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, it has a population of 2.07 million. One of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is a parliamentary republic and a member of the United Nations, of the European Union, of NATO; the capital and largest city is Ljubljana. Slovenia has a mountainous terrain with a continental climate, with the exception of the Slovene Littoral, which has a sub-Mediterranean climate, of the northwest, which has an Alpine climate. Additionally, the Dinaric Alps and the Pannonian Plain meet on the territory of Slovenia; the country, marked by a significant biological diversity, is one of the most water-rich in Europe, with a dense river network, a rich aquifer system, significant karst underground watercourses.
Over half of the territory is covered by forest. The human settlement of Slovenia is uneven. Slovenia has been the crossroads of Slavic and Romance languages and cultures. Although the population is not homogeneous, Slovenes comprise the majority; the South Slavic language Slovene is the official language throughout the country. Slovenia is a secularized country, but Catholicism and Lutheranism have influenced its culture and identity; the economy of Slovenia is small and export-oriented and has been influenced by international conditions. It has been hurt by the Eurozone crisis which started in 2009; the main economic field is services, followed by construction. The current territory of Slovenia has formed part of many different states, including the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Carolingian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Republic of Venice, the French-administered Illyrian Provinces of Napoleon I, the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary. In October 1918 the Slovenes exercised self-determination for the first time by co-founding the State of Slovenes and Serbs.
In December 1918 they merged with the Kingdom of Serbia into the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. During World War II Germany and Hungary occupied and annexed Slovenia, with a tiny area transferred to the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi puppet state. In 1945 Slovenia became a founding member of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, renamed in 1963 as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In the first years after World War II this state was allied with the Eastern Bloc, but it never subscribed to the Warsaw Pact and in 1961 became one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. In June 1991, after the introduction of multi-party representative democracy, Slovenia became the first republic that split from Yugoslavia and became an independent country. In 2004, it entered the European Union. Slovenia's name means the "Land of the Slavs" in Slovene and other South Slavic languages; the etymology of Slav itself remains uncertain. The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is derived from the word slovo denoting "people who speak," i. e. people who understand each other.
This is in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people, namely *němьcь, meaning "silent, mute people". The word slovo and the related slava and slukh originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew-, cognate with Ancient Greek κλέος, as in the name Pericles, Latin clueo, English loud; the modern Slovene state originates from the Slovene National Liberation Committee held on 19 February 1944. They named the state as Federal Slovenia, a unit within the Yugoslav federation. On 20 February 1946, Federal Slovenia was renamed the People's Republic of Slovenia, it retained this name until 9 April 1963, when its name was changed again, this time to Socialist Republic of Slovenia. On 8 March 1990, SR Slovenia removed the prefix "Socialist" from its name, becoming the Republic of Slovenia. Present-day Slovenia has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There is evidence of human habitation from around 250,000 years ago. A pierced cave bear bone, dating from 43100 ± 700 BP, found in 1995 in Divje Babe cave near Cerkno, is considered a kind of flute, the oldest musical instrument discovered in the world.
In the 1920s and 1930s, artifacts belonging to the Cro-Magnon, such as pierced bones, bone points, a needle were found by archaeologist Srečko Brodar in Potok Cave. In 2002, remains of pile dwellings over 4,500 years old were discovered in the Ljubljana Marshes, now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Ljubljana Marshes Wooden Wheel, the oldest wooden wheel in the world, it shows that wooden wheels appeared simultaneously in Mesopotamia and Europe. In the transition period between the Bronze age to the Iron age, the Urnfield culture flourished. Archaeological remains dating from the Hallstatt period have been found in southeastern Slovenia, among them a number of situl
Providence College is a private, Roman Catholic university located about two miles west of downtown Providence, Rhode Island, United States, the state's capital city. With a 2012–2013 enrollment of 3,852 undergraduate students and 735 graduate students, the college specializes in academic programs in the liberal arts, it is the only university in North America administered by the Dominican Friars. Founded in 1917, the college offers 49 majors and 34 minors and, beginning with the class of 2016, requires all its students to complete 16 credits in the Development of Western Civilization, which serves as a major part of the college's core curriculum. Fr. Brian Shanley has been the school's president since 2005. In athletics, Providence College competes in the NCAA's Division I and is a founding member of the original Big East Conference and Hockey East. In December 2012, the College announced it and six other Catholic colleges would leave the original Big East Conference to form a new basketball-centric Big East Conference.
In 1917, Providence College was founded as an all-male school through the efforts of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and the Dominican Province of St. Joseph; the central figure in the college's incorporation was Matthew Harkins, Bishop of Providence, who sought an institution that would establish a center of advanced learning for the Catholic youth of Rhode Island. Opening its doors at the corner of Eaton Street and River Avenue with only one building, Harkins Hall, the college under inaugural president Dennis Albert Casey, O. P. began with nine Dominican faculty members. Under second president William D. Noon, O. P. the college opened its first dormitory, Guzman Hall. Under President Lorenzo C. McCarthy, O. P. Providence College athletics soon received their moniker as the "Friars." With black and white as team colors, the school had early success in basketball and baseball. In 1933, the school received regional accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; the college conferred its first Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science degrees by 1935, the year that the school's newspaper was first published.
By 1939, Aquinas Hall dormitory had been built to accommodate more students enrolling in general studies, but with the impact of World War II upon enrollment, President John J. Dillon, O. P. lobbied Rhode Island's congressional delegation to pressure the War Department to assign Providence College an Army Specialized Training Program unit. Unit # 1188 arrived on campus in the Summer of 1943. A class of 380 soldiers-in-training studied engineering at Providence College for a year before going overseas. Robert J. Slavin, O. P. served as president from 1947 to 1961. During his tenure in 1955, Providence acquired the House of Good Shepard property that pushed the original boundaries of campus to Huxley Avenue. Slavin oversaw the establishment of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps on campus in 1951, the Liberal Arts Honors Program in 1957; the athletics program of the college gained acceptance into the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1948. Prior to the opening of Alumni Hall in 1955, the men's basketball team played in local Providence high schools.
The college hired Joe Mullaney as the men's basketball coach. President Vincent C. Dore, O. P. opened the doors of the college's graduate school as well as a new dormitory building, now called Meagher Hall. President William P. Haas, O. P. opened Phillips Memorial Library in 1969. In 1967, the college added its first lay faculty members in its Departments of Theology and Philosophy, as well as its first full-time female faculty member. Two years the student dress code was abolished. In 1970, the college decided to admit women starting with the 1971–1972 school year; the same year, the first female administrator was hired. By 1975, the first year women graduated after completing a four-year course of study, women had attained visible positions in school organizations. Anne Martha Frank was the first women to edit the school weekly newspaper. Patricia Slonina became the first woman editor of The Alembic. Ana Margarita Cabrera was the first woman to edit The Veritas. Subsequent president Thomas R. Peterson, O.
P. instituted the Development of Western Civilization program, while in 1974, the college acquired the property of the former Charles V. Chapin Hospital on the other side of Huxley Avenue; the campus was split in half by Huxley Avenue, providing an "Upper" campus and "Lower" campus. In 1974, the School of Continuing Education awarded the college's first Associate's degree. With men's basketball tickets becoming a hot commodity at the 2,600-seat Alumni Hall gymnasium, with the opening of the Providence Civic Center in 1972, the Friars moved downtown in time for their Final Four appearance behind Providence natives Ernie DiGregorio and Marvin Barnes. Two years the men's hockey team played their first season in the new home on campus, as Schneider Arena opened in 1974 with Ron Wilson leading the way. In the early morning hours of December 13, 1977, a dormitory fire killed ten female residents of Aquinas Hall. Meanwhile, the demographics of the student body continued to change, as women outnumbered men in incoming classes and non-Rhode Island students soon outnumbered in-state stude
Derek Lamar Fisher is an American basketball coach and former player, the head coach for the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association. He played professionally in the National Basketball Association for 18 seasons, spending the majority of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won five NBA championships, he has served as president of the National Basketball Players Association. Fisher played college basketball for the Arkansas–Little Rock Trojans, earning the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 1996. Selected by the Lakers with the 24th pick in the 1996 NBA draft, he spent his first eight seasons with the franchise, winning three consecutive league championships with teammates Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal and coach Phil Jackson. After the 2003–04 NBA season, he signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors being traded to the Utah Jazz, whom he helped lead to the Western Conference finals. Due to his daughter's health, he asked to be released from his contract in 2007.
He won two more NBA titles with Bryant and Jackson. In 2012, he was traded to the Houston Rockets, where he bought out his contract and was waived at his request, he joined the Oklahoma City Thunder for the remainder of the season, playing for the 2012 NBA championship in his eighth Finals appearance. After signing with the 2012–13 Dallas Mavericks he played only nine games before being injured and asking to be released from his contract, he rejoined the Oklahoma City Thunder for another late season push. He re-signed with them in the off-season and played in a team-high 81 regular-season games for the team in 2013–14; the following season, he was hired as the head coach of the New York Knicks by Jackson, who had become the team's president. He was fired in 2016, has since been featured as a broadcast television analyst on Turner Sports' NBA programming. Fisher joined Spectrum SportsNet for the 2016-17 NBA season to work as an in-studio analyst for the Los Angeles Lakers. On January 19, 2017, Fisher was announced as one of the analysts for Turner Sports' new Players Only programming slate.
Fisher is the all-time NBA record holder in playoff games played. While playing for the Lakers, he hit a buzzer beater with 0.4 second left in game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs, which the NBA lists as the 18th-greatest playoff moment of all time. Derek Fisher was born in Arkansas, he attended Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School in Little Rock, where he was a letterman in basketball. He went on to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years, with a major in communications. Fisher concluded his collegiate career at Arkansas-Little Rock second on the school's all-time lists in points and steals, he averaged 12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists over 112 games and led the team in assists and steals every year. Fisher set a school record for free throws made in a career and ranked third among all-time UALR leaders in three-point field goals made; as a senior, he earned Sunbelt Conference Player of the Year honors after averaging 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.
In 2005, Fisher pledged $700,000 to UALR towards the construction of its Jack Stephens Center auxiliary gym, since named in his honor, the establishment of the Fisher Fellows Life Skills program, a mentoring series for UALR student-athletes. Fisher was selected 24th overall in the 1996 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, spent his first eight seasons with them, he made his NBA debut in an early season game against the Phoenix Suns, tallying 12 points and five assists. Over the course of his rookie season, Fisher appeared in 80 games, averaging 3.9 points, 1.5 assists, 1.2 rebounds. He was selected to the Schick Rookie Game during the All-Star Weekend in Cleveland and had 16 points and six assists. In the 1997 -- 98 season, Fisher started 36 of 82 games, he started all 13 games in the playoffs and averaged 6 points per game as the Lakers advanced to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Utah Jazz in 4 games. In the lockout-shortened 1998–1999 season, Fisher played in all 50 games and started in 21 serving as a backup for veteran Derek Harper.
Fisher would once again start in all of the Lakers' playoff games, posting averages of 9.8 points and 4.9 assists per game as the Lakers advanced past the Houston Rockets in the first round before falling to the San Antonio Spurs in the second round in 4 games. Phil Jackson became the Lakers' head coach prior to the 1999–2000 season, with him brought veteran point guard Ron Harper, who had started for three of Jackson's Chicago Bulls championship teams. Jackson preferred big guards. Being both smaller and playing more like a traditional point guard, not being much of a shooter, Fisher worked hard on his shooting during the offseason to increase his value to the new coach, he started in 22 of 78 games for the season, backing up Kobe Bryant when injured. The Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals and defeated the Indiana Pacers in 6 games to win the 2000 NBA championship, Fisher's first. Due to a stress fracture in his right foot, Fisher missed the first 62 games of the 2000–01 season. During his absence, the Lakers were not winning as as the previous season, which led to teammates Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal rekindling their feud over the team's offense.
Assistant coach Bill Bertka, believed a key factor in the team's struggles was the team's defense without Fisher. Fisher returned on March 13, 2001, upgrading the Lakers' defense, he started the final 20 games of the season, averaging 11.5 points per game
Shaquille Rashaun "Shaq" O'Neal, is a retired professional American basketball player, a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA on TNT. He is considered one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association history. At 7 ft 1 in tall and 325 pounds, he was one of heaviest players yet. O'Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year career. Following his time at Louisiana State University, O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft, he became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After four years with the Magic, O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers, they won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, 2002. Amid tension between O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, his fourth NBA championship followed in 2006. Midway through the 2007–2008 season he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. After a season-and-a-half with the Suns, O'Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009–10 season.
O'Neal played for the Boston Celtics in the 2010–11 season before retiring. O'Neal's individual accolades include the 1999–2000 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, three NBA All-Defensive Team selections, he is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year. He ranks 8th all-time in points scored, 6th in field goals, 15th in rebounds, 8th in blocks. Due to his ability to dunk the basketball, O'Neal ranks third all-time in field goal percentage. O'Neal was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, he was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017. In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum, he has appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq's Big Challenge and Shaq Vs..
He hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq. He is the general manager of Kings Guard Gaming of the NBA 2K League. O'Neal was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, to Lucille O'Neal and Joe Toney, who played high school basketball and was offered a basketball scholarship to play at Seton Hall. Toney struggled with drug addiction and was imprisoned for drug possession when O'Neal was an infant. Upon his release, he did not resume a place in O'Neal's life and instead agreed to relinquish his parental rights to O'Neal's Jamaican stepfather, Phillip A. Harrison, a career Army sergeant. O'Neal remained estranged from his biological father for decades. On his 1994 rap album, Shaq Fu: The Return, O'Neal voiced his feelings of disdain for Toney in the song "Biological Didn't Bother", dismissing him with the line "Phil is my father." However, O'Neal's feelings toward Toney mellowed in the years following Harrison's death in 2013, the two met for the first time in March 2016, with O'Neal telling him, "I don't hate you.
I had a good life. I had Phil."O'Neal credits the Boys and Girls Club of America in Newark with giving him a safe place to play and keeping him off the streets. "It gave me something to do," he said. "I'd just go there to shoot. I didn't play on a team." Because of his stepfather's career in the military, the family left Newark, moving to military bases in Germany and Texas. At Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas, O'Neal led his team to a 68–1 record over two years and helped the team win the state championship during his senior year, his 791 rebounds during the 1989 season remains a state record for a player in any classification. O'Neal's tendency to make hook shots earned comparisons to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, inspiring him to wear the same jersey number as Abdul-Jabbar, 33. However, his high school team did not have a 33 jersey. After graduating from high school, O'Neal studied business at Louisiana State University, he had first met Dale Brown, LSU's men's basketball coach, years earlier in Europe when O'Neal's stepfather was stationed on a U.
S. Army base at West Germany. While playing for Brown at LSU, O'Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time SEC Player of the Year, received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men's basketball player of the year in 1991. O'Neal left LSU early to pursue his NBA career, but continued his education after becoming a professional player, he was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame. A 900-pound bronze statue of O'Neal is located in front of the LSU Tigers Basketball Practice Facility; the Orlando Magic drafted O'Neal with the 1st overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. During that summer, prior to moving to Orlando, he spent a significant amount of time in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. Given Terry Catledge refused to give O'Neal the 33 jersey, he relented by going back to the 32 from his high school days. O'Neal was named the Player of the Week in his first week in the NBA, becoming the first player to do so. During his rookie season, O'Neal averaged 23.4 points on 56.2% shooting, 13.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks per game for the season.
He was named the 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year and became the first rookie to be voted an All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1985. The Magic finished 41–41, winning 20 more games than the previous season.