Shaquille O’Neal gets honest about being scared to play Michael Jordan, others
Hall-of-Fame big man Shaquille O’Neal is very vocal about how he is the most dominant force the NBA has ever seen. And he’s right. Nobody manhandled his defenders down low like prime Shaquille O’Neal did.
However, on this segment of Inside the NBA, Shaq admitted that facing Michael Jordan for the first time legitimately terrified him. He also added Charles Barkley, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing as players that scared him when he debuted.
Watch the segment below:
Moments like these are definitely scarce for The Diesel. Shaq rarely admits being scared of other players. But then again, this is THE Michael Jordan we’re talking about.
O’Neal, of course, didn’t look the part when he arrived in the NBA in 1992. Shaq took the league by storm in his rookie season and wasted no time in making the Orlando Magic a force to be reckoned with. He made the All-Star team in his debut campaign. He also put up nightly averages of 23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks.
After four seasons in Orlando, O’Neal moved on to the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 1996. It is with the storied Purple and Gold franchise where The Big Aristotle had the most dominant stretch of his career.
Shaq led the Lakers to three straight NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. He also won Finals MVP in each of their title wins. That’s not to mention that he also captured his lone MVP trophy in the 1999-00 season.
Through this three-year dominance in the playoffs, O’Neal averaged 29.9 points, 14.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.4 blocks per game.
After his tenure with the Lakers sourly ended in 2004, O’Neal went moved on to the Miami Heat. It was in Miami where he won his fourth ring in 2006. O’Neal bounced around three teams near the end of his career before finally hanging up his sneakers for good in 2011.