Shaquille O’Neal credits MMA for string of championships
Shaquille O’Neal is arguably the most dominant player the NBA has ever seen. In his resume is a total of four titles, including a three-peat.
Recently, Shaq revealed that his training regimen didn’t consist solely of basketball. In fact, he credited mixed martial arts as the reason why he won all those championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.
Speaking ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, O’Neal said that for him, playing basketball was more like wrestling. With that said, he included MMA in his training program during summers in Orlando.
“MMA is the reason I became a champion. I always used to practice basketball. It wasn’t enough. Because when I played basketball, it was more wrestling. So when I trained MMA with Jon Burke, a friend of mine down in Orlando, I came back in the best shape of my life. That was in 2000. Won. Dominated,” the NBA legend shared.
Since his MMA training did wonders, O’Neal did the most obvious thing to do: continue the regimen. It resulted in the three-peat with the late Kobe Bryant — a feat that has never been done in the NBA since then.
O’Neal also admitted that once he stopped his MMA training, he lost.
“So I’m a creature of habit. Did it again, won a second championship. Did it again, won the third championship. Got cute, got away from it, lost. Got traded to Miami, did it again, won the fourth championship,” Shaq shared.
Shaquille O’Neal may have just revealed his secret recipe, the magic potion to his dominance. Will this revelation trigger a host of NBA players to include MMA in their training programs?