Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most popular and renowned athletes in NBA history.
His larger-than-life persona, never-ending media exposure, and his talents on the court make him a guy that’s not easily forgotten or ignored.
Notably, it’s been that way since before he entered the NBA, as he was already turning a lot of heads during his brief stint with the LSU Tigers, earning the right to be the first-overall pick of the 1992 draft.
Shaq, Chuck Get Into It
If you’re a fan of Shaq, then you may know he loves talking himself up. So, a couple of nights ago, he started talking about how he was compared to the greatest big men of all time before he even entered the league.
As per usual, his friend and colleague Charles Barkley wanted nothing to do with that:
“For me, coming in, I was compared to Bill, Wilt, and Kareem,” Shaq said on NBA on TNT. “Just for the record… nobody mentioned you with those guys,” Barkley replied.” “And they don’t mention you at all,” O’Neal responded.
And Twitter went into a frenzy:
Kareem Wasn’t A Fan Of Shaq’s Game
Perhaps, the biggest irony of this is that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t even a fan of Shaq back in the day. In fact, he even claimed that he didn’t have a good touch with the ball:
“He doesn’t have a good touch with the ball. Any shot that he takes from more than two feet that he can’t jam seems to lack touch. He’s not selfish, he plays hard, he plays for the team, but there’s just not much progress with the soft touch,” the Lakers legend said.
Needless to say, Shaq sure proved him wrong.
Shaq Wanted To Beat Him
If it wasn’t for injuries, Shaq could’ve been the greatest player of all time. He was a scoring force and one of the most dominant big men ever. That’s why he’s jealous of LeBron James for getting the chance to break Kareem’s scoring record, which was one of his biggest goals:
“I think the greatest player is Michael Jordan,” Shaq said on Logan Paul’s podcast. “LeBron’s about to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time. And I think he will move his name up there. When people look at stats right. So you know his stats are definitely gonna be up there. And to have passed up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I can truthfully say I’m jealous of that feat because I wanted to pass up.”He’s Still A Legend
All things considered, Shaq’s career still panned out wonderfully, and he’ll forever go down as one of the most skilled players to ever lace them up.
Winner of four NBA championships, multiple Finals MVPs, and an unstoppable force on both ends of the floor, Shaq gave the world a historically great duo side by side with Kobe Bryant.
Now, whether he was mentioned alongside Bill Russell when he entered the league, well that’s a story for another day.