Shaquille O’Neal Picks Four NBA Legends to Introduce him to Hall of Fame, Says he Only Played 30 Percent of his Real Game
Shaquille O’Neal is the most dominant player I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching, and I didn’t even get to see his glory days with the Los Angeles Lakers. During his days with the Miami Heat, Shaq was my favorite NBA player.
The man had quite the career. With four NBA Championships between the Lakers and Heat, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, a 2000 regular-season MVP Award, 15 All-Star Game selections, and an extensive list of other accomplishments, Shaq is easily in the conversation for the greatest of all time. The Big Aristotle ranks third all-time in field goal percentage at 58.2% and first all-time in broken backboards (although it is not an officially recorded statistic). Hell, the man even released four rap albums and went platinum.
It was no surprise that Shaq was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this season in his first year of eligibility along with other greats such as Yao Ming and Allen Iverson. This Friday is the induction ceremony, and Shaq prepared by hand-picking four of the best to ever play the game to introduce him—Isiah Thomas, Alonzo Mourning, Julius Erving, and Bill Russell.
The crazy thing is, because of all the attention Shaq received on offense, he never played up to his true potential—or so he claims.
“I only played 30 percent of my real game,” said O’Neal. “I had a great career, but I didn’t get a chance to showcase what I can really do. That’s because the double and triple-teams were coming so quick, I had to dominate, dominate, dominate inside. I had the ability to step out, go around defenders, dribble by people, but I never got to show that. I had to focus on being the most powerful, dominant player to ever play the game.”
With 28,596 career points, 13,099 rebounds, and 2,732 blocks, Shaq can sleep well at night knowing he accomplished his goal of being the most dominant player in the game. All that’s left is the ceremony.