Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal reveals how an iconic Julius Erving dunk inspired him to pursue basketball and the NBA as his dream.
There is absolutely no doubt that Shaq would be an inspiration to millions of his fans around the world. However, there was once a time that Shaq was a young boy who found his inspiration to pursues the game as a professional.
In an interview back in 2015, O’Neal opened up about the moment which got him more focused on basketball than ever:
“Dr J goes baseline, throws it down, the crowd goes crazy. That’s when I said OK, that’s what I want to do. I’m a changed man. From that day on, no more juvenile delinquent, try better in school, stayed out of trouble.”
“Like, I knew I wanted to be a rapper, but when Dr J went baseline, and the crowd went crazy, I was like, ‘I want that.’ I want people to scream my name.”
Shaquille O’Neal calls Julius Erving ‘the greatest player of all time’
There would be many around the world who would consider Shaq as the GOAT. Shaquille O’Neal has often stated how Dr J is the GOAT in his opinions. Shaq once gave his respects to Erving:
“I’ve seen young Mike and young LeBron and I must say Dr J is still my favourite player. A lot of people today don’t even mention his name but to me, I still think he was the best. But these are questions that we’ll never know the answer to.”
Of course, the NBA has been benefited because of both these legends. The way Shaq raved about him, it felt as if he wouldn’t have pursued the game like a pro if it wasn’t for Julius Erving’s dunk.
NBA enthusiasts over the world should thank Erving for that iconic dunk. And to keep a young Shaquille O’Neal engaged and motivated to be associated with the game he completely dominated.