Shaquille O’Neal is one of the finest centers that the NBA game has ever seen. However, there are always questions about how much more dominant Shaq could have been if he was as dedicated as many other NBA players like Michael Jordan or old teammate Kobe Bryant. Shaq has given another instance of him sometimes just having fun on the court.
Despite being a fierce competitor who won four rings, Shaq also let players who impressed him play well whenever he guarded them. Those players were ‘White Chocolate’ Jason Williams, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and Allen Iverson.
“I have a confession, and D-Wade probably already knows this. There were four guys that I loved, and I’d let them do whatever. White Chocolate, Vince Carter, AI, and Tracy McGrady.”
Shaq elaborated on his point about AI by saying, “Every time we played AI, I liked seeing him crossing over. I could’ve blocked his shot multiple times, I just didn’t want to.”
Shaquille O’Neal: Admiring his opponents
Shaquille O’Neal is like all of us in one way. We are just fans of the NBA and appreciate what we watch happen on the court. Shaq expressed his admiration by letting players do what made them so must-see. However, the fact that Shaq wouldn’t block AI’s shot because he liked his cross-overs is a little harder to buy into.
But there could be truth to that as well. If possible, Shaq would have blocked every single shot that came his way. Considering the size gap between AI and Shaq, it is believable that Shaq probably chose not to block a floater attempt by AI. But still, a little harder to buy into.
Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady were high-flying young sensations during Shaq’s prime and would furnish their highlight reel whenever they stepped onto the court. Jason Williams was known to be one of the deftest point guards of his era. It is nice to see Shaq reveal the respect he had for these players because he never would have revealed this during his prime.
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