“That Son of a B**ch Ran. Well Yo Man Slow Down, Damn!” Shaquille O’Neal Reveals How NBA Legends Caught Him Off-Guard in His Rookie Season

Published 01/03/2022, 2:30 PM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 16: Shaquille O’Neal is seen at ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ on July 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)


Every NBA star has his “Welcome to the NBA” moment. The rookie season is often the most patience-testing for a player. Since rookies mostly spend time on the bench and often get bullied on the court. Similarly, Shaquille O’Neal also had his share of lessons and shocking moments in his initial years. The same Shaquille O’Neal who dominated the league and bullied his way through the paint for most of his NBA career.

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When he came into the league in 1992, the league had the likes of Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Michael Jordan. So every once in a while, Shaquille had to turn apprentice on the court and learn from the best.

ORLANDO, FL – 1993: Shaquille O’Neal #32 of the Orlando Magic poses with Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls prior to playing an NBA game at the TD Waterhouse Centre in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

When Shaquille O’Neal turned apprentice on the court to NBA legends

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In his conversation with GaryVee, Shaq revealed the moments NBA legends caught him off guard on the court in his initial years. He said, (Patrick) Ewing was a mean son down at the pick and pop. And you couldn’t let him get going before you got going. Especially at the (Madison Square) Garden. David Robinson, that son of a b**ch ran. Well, yo man slow down, damn! And then you know Hakeem Olajuwon with all those moves. So, you know, my thing was you guys are the master, I’m a student.

Shaquille has always admitted that Ewing was the only player who intimidated him. And now he named two more legends who inspired him on the court. O’Neal had the unique opportunity to learn as he grows on the court. He indeed made the most of it and got himself four NBA championships.

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Did Shaq ever get dunked on?

Shaquille O’Neal dominated the NBA using the lessons he got from these legends. He even prided himself in being the only big man who didn’t get dunked on. Well, except that one unfortunate time Derrick Coleman got the best of him on the court.

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Nevertheless, one poster does not change the fact that O’Neal wasn’t a nightmare for the opposing teams. These humbling moments arguably contributed to Shaq’s IQ for the game. Being a quick learner, he made sure to never repeat the same mistake again. For example, he may have gotten blocked, but he never got dunked on except this one time.

Watch This Story: Shaquille O’Neal on How Tom Cruise and Eddie Murphy Inspired Him: “This Is What a Superstar Is Supposed to Be Like”

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

491 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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