Ex-NBA star Shaq O’Neal joins SXSW Interactive Festival lineup


shaq-lawsuit-1Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal will be one of the speakers at the South by Southwest Interactive festival, event organizers said Friday.

Scheduled March 8-12, the 2013 SXSW® Interactive Festival will feature five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the SXSW Trade Show and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer.

O’Neal will be part of an interview session with Altimeter Group analyst Brian Solis. The session, titled “Shaq Goes Social: The Big Interview,” is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. March 11.

The festival cited O’Neal’s accomplishments in social media, where he has more than 3 million “Likes” on Facebook and 6 million followers on Twitter, as points of discussion.

Following his career at Louisiana State University, O’Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. He quickly became one of the top centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and later 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. He won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Amid tension between O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, and 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 played in 1207 NBA games (1197 started), averaging 23.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg in 34.7 minutes of action.

He was a 15-time NBA All-Star, and won 4 NBA championships (three with Los Angeles Lakers, one with Miami Heat).

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.”.

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