Former NBA player and current TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal was a dominant force on the basketball court, but he had an even bigger personality that made him one of the most polarizing and entertaining athletes ever.
And we finally may have found the secret to his, and his championship teams’, success.
Sitting with former L.A. Lakers coach Phil Jackson yesterday for a roundtable discussion, the Zen Master told a story about how Shaq used to help loosen up teammates and remind them that, even though they were paid millions to play ball, shit was supposed to be fun.
“Well, you know, numbers of times, he could crack a team up with humorous effects on the floor. There were times when he shocked us all in a practice situation, especially when he showed up nude with just his shoes on.”
Shaq’s reply? “I don’t remember,” saying with a smile.
At 7’1″ and over 300 pounds, I’m not sure O’Neal’s dong is something that would put a smile on anyone’s face, but, apparently, it kept things chill for his teammates.
This isn’t the first time a former coach has talked about the big man’s penchant for nakedness, as Alvin Gentry told a similar story about Shaq’s time with the Phoenix Suns:
The coach said “every few days or every week or so” the big man would come barreling around a locker room corner completely nude and tackle a teammate or coaching staff member to the ground where he would roll around with them in what he called “Brazilian naked wrestling.”
Being Shaq’s teammate doesn’t sound fun at all.