“How Terrified I Was Of Michael Jordan”: Shaquille O’Neal Admits Entering The NBA Was Easier Than He Thought It Would Be
2024/04/02

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Shaquille O'Neal recently made history by becoming the first Orlando Magic player to have his jersey retired. His colleagues on TNT's Inside the NBA celebrated this occasion by reflecting on Diesel's time in the league. During the discussion, Shaq revealed an important lesson he learned during his early NBA years, which caught the interest of the listeners.

When the host, Ernie Johnson, asked the 7ft 1″ icon about his initial lessons from the league, Shaq candidly replied that he found the NBA to be easier than he had anticipated. This response shocked the panel members, but Shaq stood by his statement, emphasizing that it was indeed easier than he thought.

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In order to explain his viewpoint, Shaq referred to Michael Jordan from the 1990s. He mentioned how terrified he used to be of Jordan while watching him on TV. However, when Shaq faced him on the court and came close to blocking his shot, he realized that Jordan was just a human being, albeit a slightly better one. This experience motivated Shaq to aim higher and strive to be the best.

A crucial factor in Shaq's mindset shift was his upbringing. He revealed that his mother, Dr. Lucille, always told him to make people remember his name. This inspired him to come into the league and establish himself as a force to be reckoned with.

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Despite achieving numerous accomplishments throughout his career, Shaq's respect for Michael Jordan has remained intact. He considers Jordan as one of only three players who have ever dunked on him, alongside Derrick Coleman and Tim Perry. Shaq even endorsed a post suggesting that the NBA was fortunate that Jordan and he never teamed up, highlighting his appreciation for the Bulls legend and his belief in his abilities.

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