NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal challenged Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps to a swimming competition consisting of 3 rounds.
There is no doubt that there has been no player as dominant as Shaq in the NBA. The 7-foot giant destroyed his opponents, especially in the paint. O’Neal was every basketball rim’s worst nightmare.
An elite combination of strength and size, Shaq is a 4x NBA champion with 3 Finals MVPs. The Hall of Famer had several accolades to his name.
In 2009, the Lakers legend challenged the GOAT swimmer Michael Phelps to a swimming competition on his show Shaq vs. The show’s concept had Shaq challenge the best athletes in their respective sports.
The finale of the first season was one of the most entertaining episodes. The final episode had Big Diesel challenge Michael Phelps to a 3 round swimming competition.
Each race would have one handicap on Phelps, giving the Shaq an advantage in each race. However, the races were very competitive. The NBA superstar had done some quality preparation going into the competition.
Michael Phelps defeated Shaquille O’Neal 2-1
The competition had a set of 3 races between the two sporting icons. Race One was a freestyle event that had Shaq cover 25 yards, whereas Phelps had to cover 50 yards but had a 5 seconds headstart.
The two athletes started on opposite sides to ensure the finish would be on the same end of the pool. What happened next surprised everyone as Shaq defeated the 23x Olympic gold medalist.
Race Two consisted of a 200-yard medley relay event. The relay had 3 female Olympic swimmers team up with Shaq while Phelps was the lone ranger.
The relay event had the 15x All-Star covering 50-yards while the remaining 150 would be covered by the 3 Olympic swimmers. On the other hand, Phelps had to cover the entire 200-yards by himself.
However, the result had the Olympic swimmer win the contest by merely 2 seconds. The series at the time was 1-1.
Race Three the final conclusion was a freestyle event. In this decider, Shaq had to cover 50-yards whereas, Phelps had to cover 75-yards. Phelps defeated Shaq, which resulted in the Olympic swimmer being crowned the winner of the competition.
Despite going against the GOAT swimmer, there is no denying that Big Diesel held his ground. O’ Neal did give Phelps a run for his money. Shaq’s performance clearly showed us his hardcore competitive spirit.