Los Angeles Lakers: Shaquille O’Neal compares his All-Star teammates

(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images) /
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Shaquille O’Neal had an interview with a friend to Lake Show Life, Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson. They discussed four great players he played with in Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Lake Show Life looks back at the partnerships through his Hall of Fame-worthy career.

Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal was one of those players that were considered a “Can’t-miss” superstar coming into the NBA. To put this in perspective, his college coach at LSU, Dale Brown told him to go pro because he had no reason to stay in college.

It turned out to be great advice because “The Diesel” was dominant from the day he stepped into the league.

After the Orlando Magic drafted him number one overall in the NBA draft, O’Neal did nothing to show that he was going to be a bust.

  • In his first-ever NBA game, a 20-year-old O’Neal tallied 12 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocks 
  • In his second game, he notched 22 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocks. 
  • He had a six-game streak of games where he recorded at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Shaquille O’Neal set the foundation for the Magic to finish 41-41 barely missing the playoffs in his rookie year. Then Orlando struck gold again of historical proportions and landed the top pick of the draft the very next year.

It was then that Mickey Mouse had some serious competition on the most popular celebrity figure was in Orlando.

Despite being the most dominant player in NBA history other than Wilt Chamberlain, he did have the privilege of playing with a number of all-time great side-kicks during his own Hall of Fame 20-year NBA career. It’s almost unheard of to have the talented list that O’Neal had to play the supporting role in his glory years.

Shaquille O’Neal always showed a ton of respect and gave credit to the players he called the “others”, who never was mentioned in the headlines of the media. His praise for the great players came a little later in his post-playing days.

During his career, O’Neal always believed that he was the engine making things go and believed he was in the driver’s seat. At times, that would rub his superstar teammates the wrong way.

Based on his effect on the league at the time, good luck trying to convince him otherwise. In the worst-case scenario, he has to be ranked as the third greatest center of all time. His resume speaks for itself.

  • The NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2000
  • 4 NBA Championships
  • Named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list
  • NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1993.

However, following his playing career, Shaquille O’Neal really went on record to embrace the superstar players he was lucky enough to share the court with. Over numerous interviews and documentaries (Players Only with Kobe Bryant is a must watch!) he has realized that their contributions helped lead to championship success.

He started things off on the Orlando Magic with Penny Hardaway, then moved to the Los Angeles Lakers with a young Kobe Bryant. Following their split, O’Neal played with Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat and even had a stint with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When asked to describe his experiences with each of his teammates, O’Neal reached into the history books to find comparisons for each, according to a colleague of Lake Show Life, Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Heavy.com.

Despite all of these stops coming at completely different stages of his career, O’Neal managed to learn something of real value about each of the players he came across.

NBA fans are always going to remember Shaquille O’Neal from his years from Orlando to the Lakers to the Heat. After that era ended, Shaquille’s journeyman tour around the NBA had begun. One of those stops was in Cleveland for a year to play with LeBron James.

Lake Show Life takes a look back at the combinations of Shaq’s career. Two of those were nuclear, one was high-powered and one was just too late and never quite fired off.