Shaquille O’Neal reveals Phil Jackson’s 3 demands from him in first meeting
One of the reasons behind the end of the Chicago Bulls dynasty in the 1990s was the fact that head coach Phil Jackson parted ways with the team following after the 1997-98 campaign. Whatever may have caused Jackson’s departure, the fact of the matter is that he joined the Los Angeles Lakers where he would carry on with his winning tradition.
When Jackson arrived in L.A., one of the first things on his agenda was to do a sit-down with his stars, and Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal recalled how things went down in his very first meeting with Jackson.
The famed big man remembered in detail exactly what his new coach demanded from him at that point.
“If he says, ‘Do this,’ we all know that he knows what he’s talking about. Because every summer when we’d lose, we’d watch him in the Finals. … When I first met him, he said, ‘Look, if you listen to me, you’ll be MVP. You listen to me, you will win a championship.’ And I said, ‘Cool.’ First thing he said, ‘No more albums, limit your commercials and do everything I say.’ And I agreed, and it was probably the best years that I played. Once we had that formula of how to win, we were just thirsty for more.”
Phil Jackson came in with a tremendous track record, and Shaquille O’Neal — who was one of the biggest stars in the NBA at that time — was more than happy to submit to his new coach’s demands.
Shaq, as well as the rest of the Lakers, followed through on their promise to Jackson. As a result, they won three consecutive titles over the next three years.