O'Neal was injured for a great deal of the 1995–96 season, missing 28 games.
He averaged 26.6 points and 11 rebounds per game, made the All-NBA 3rd Team, and played in his 4th All-Star Game.
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.Toney struggled with drug addiction and was imprisoned for drug possession when O'Neal was an infant. I didn't even play on a team." 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.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 stepfather, Phillip A. 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, and the two met for the first time in March 2016, with O'Neal telling him, "I don’t hate you. 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. However, jersey number 33 is not available for high school basketball players, so O'Neal chose to wear 32 before college. While playing for Brown at LSU, O'Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time SEC Player of the Year, and received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men's basketball player of the year in 1991; he was also named college player of the year by AP and UPI.O'Neal became a free agent after the 1995–96 NBA season.In the summer of 1996, O'Neal was named to the United States Olympic basketball team, and was later part of the gold medal-winning team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Midway through the 2007–2008 season he was traded to the Phoenix Suns.