Cover Image for “Watch out! I, Shaquille O’Neal am coming for you!”: The Big Diesel was out to dunk on any and all legends of the game to stamp his authority

“Watch out! I, Shaquille O’Neal am coming for you!”: The Big Diesel was out to dunk on any and all legends of the game to stamp his authority

Arun Sharma
|Sun Mar 27 2022

Shaquille O’Neal came into the league with a chip on his shoulder – he wanted to prove his worth to everybody

Shaquille O’Neal was an immovable force when it came to playing basketball. He could break backboards with his eyes closed is a force not to be dealt with. After 3 seasons with LSU, He started with a bang in Orlando. Winning the Rookie of the year award in 1993, he was catching bodies as fast as he made the headlines.

Legends of the game like David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon were the established centers of the game at that time, with multiple all-stars and championships between them. While they were supremely talented, one thing they embodied was humility. They were the anti-Shaq – they liked to be away from the camera and let their body of work do the talking.

And when Shaq entered the league with his big personality – it shook them up. Up until then, the guard position was the area with the most flash – Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson for example. Entering the league with the moniker “Superman” did not do any good for his image in front of them.

Also Read: “I thought Magic Johnson had a death sentence.”: Jerry West reminisces about the Showtime Lakers’ legend

Shaquille O’Neal as a young rook was a monster – there were not many people who could stop him

Shaq took this seriously – he went on to win 4 championships, including a 3 peat with the Lakers and Kobe Bryant. In his prime, he was more domineering and intimidating compared to the other centers. Players loathed to guard him – he was like a bulldozer who could be a ballet dancer.

He could have been considered for the position Michael Jordan currently occupies in the minds of many if he kept his shape. The man liked the media attention and chicken wings equally. He and Charles Barkley have had a competition on who can have the biggest belly over the belt, but Shaq is back in shape now.

The Big Daddy has taken his dominating personality off the court now, bossing it on the business front now. He’s made many serious business decisions that have now made him more than $400 million.

Also Read: “Come March and Shaquille O’Neal decides to get into shape!”: The Ex-Lakers Big man makes sure he stays in shape just in time for his DJing escapades

About the author
Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma

Jack of all sports, master of none. But still, better than master of one. Except NFL. And MLB. And Fencing.

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