Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal reveals he was jealous after missing out on being a part of the historic Dream Team roster.
To call Shaquille O’Neal’s career a successful one would be the understatement of the century. The former player was an MVP, a 3-time Finals MVP, 15-time All-Star, a 4-time NBA champion, and arguably the most unstoppable force of all time.
But aside from dominant, Shaq has also always been one more thing, salty. Much like Jordan, he used to find something to make him angry and jealous to motivate him. And over the years, this resulted in the former superstar to have less than thick skin. Metaphorically of course.
And in an interview, much after his playing career, the former Laker spoke about one of the biggest things that made him jealous as a player. An opportunity of a lifetime missed because he wasn’t quite good enough, and it killed him. Let’s get into it.
“I was pissed off, jealous”: Shaq reveals his feeling about being left off the 1992 USA Dream Team
Shaquille O’Neal, as we all know, turned out to be an incredible player. Even in his rookie season, the player was impressive and averaged 23.4 points and 13.9 rebounds.
Unfortunately for the then-rookie, he didn’t get to prove himself worthy to be on the team, since the Olympics happened in July, while the NBA season started in November of the same year.
And while many may point to his career in college, Christian Laettner was believed to be the better player at the time. When Shaq got on an interview on the Mike Wise Show in 2012, he was asked about the Dream Team. And speaking on not being selected, this is what he had to say.
— Magic Nation (@MagicNationCP) April 20, 2021
“I was pissed off. I was jealous… But then I had to come to the realization that I was a more explosive, more powerful player, but Christian Laettner was a little bit more fundamentally sound than I was. Plus, he stayed all four years and graduated. I just think it helped me grow as a player.”
When all things were said and done, the NBA’s superman was far greater than the best that Christian Laettner could manage. However, perhaps the reason he was so great in the first place was that feeling of being snubbed that the player could never quite get over during his career.