Shaquille O’Neal once revealed that he never had any sort of relationship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for a very interesting reason
Fans today know Shaquille O’Neal as the shenanigan heavy and lovable host of Inside the NBA on TNT. His analysis may not be the best, however, his ripping on Chuck and constant jokes do make the show a very entertaining one to watch.
However, what many fans today may not know, is that things were vastly different back in his playing days.
The man was an absolute monster when it came to anything regarding basketball. He loved trash-talking opponents all the time and even created false narratives in his head to convince his body he needed to destroy everybody else.
During his early prime, he desperately wanted to get better every day, so that he can dominate every night. So, with that mindset, many expected the man would seek mentorship from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the last great Laker big. But, as Shaq revealed in 2016, this couldn’t have been further from the truth.
“I probably talked to Kareem a total of three minutes”: Shaquille O’Neal reveals why he didn’t have much of a relationship with the Lakers legend
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is by far one of the most successful individual players in the history of the Lakers. Not only was he an NBA champion with the franchise, he built one of the most unstoppable offensive moves in NBA history- the Skyhook.
With that as his main weapon, Kareem became the NBA’s top scorer over the course of his career. And, even after all these years, his record still stands tall and proud.
So, if you’re the Lakers’ new superstar center, in an era dominated by bigs, asking Abdul-Jabbar for advice sounds like the smart move right? Well, not to Shaquille O’Neal it seems.
Here is what he said, while he was on the Dan Patrick Show in 2016.
“I played for the Lakers for eight years… I probably talked to Kareem a total of three minutes.”
“The guy that was Kareem and WIlt Chamberlain’s voice for me was a guy by the name of Bill Bertka, A lot of time when you’re out there by yourself and trying to get that next level, it doesn’t take practice to get to the next level it takes conversation. It takes guidance sometimes. He would drop step five or six times a game and it would open back up.
“I was putting up big numbers and Bill would say, ‘You know Kareem had a similar situation where he would go middle [of the paint] all the time… And they took away the middle. Bill Bertka had a million stories of what Wilt and Kareem went. And that right there took me to the next level.”
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Well, that certainly makes sense. At the end of the day, if you have a trainer that can understand the games of the greats, they are all you need. And for those that do not agree with that logic, we present to you the incredible career of the Diesel himself as proof.
And there, we rest our case.