“Very Much So”: NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain Once Admitted Whether Shaquille O’Neal’s Snub Upset Him

Published 12/13/2021, 5:30 PM EST
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 14: Shaquille O’Neal attends the ESPN Gala: “30 For 30: This Magic Moment” Screening during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)


The NBA recently released a list of the top 75 players of all time as a part of its 75th anniversary. The league released a similar list in 1996-97 with the top 50 players of all time to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen made it to the top 50 list in 1996.

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However, with so many legends present at the ceremony, Shaquille O’Neal chose not to appear at the awards ceremony. This didn’t go down well with many former legends of the game.

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Former Lakers star Wilt Chamberlain was among the legends who were unhappy with Shaq snubbing the award ceremony. In an old interview, Wilt opened up about Shaq not showing up at the award ceremony.

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Wilt Chamberlain opens up on Shaquille O’Neal missing the 1996-97 NBA award ceremony

An old interview of Wilt Chamberlain has resurfaced on social media. During the 1997 interview, Wilt was asked if Shaq appeared for the award ceremony. To this Wilt replied: “No, he did not.”

Then the interviewer asks Wilt if Shaq’s snub made him upset. To this, Wilt replies, “Very, very much so”.

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“Because he should have been there just to allow himself to take a picture of all those great guys on the right,” he added.

Out of the 50 players selected as the best player of all time in 1996, 11 were active at that time. Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Parish, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, and John Stockton were active in 1996-97 and were part of the top 50.

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However, Shaquille O’Neal was the last player on that list to retire. He was active till the 2010-11 season when he played for Boston Celtics and made 39 appearances for the joint-most successful NBA team. Shaq was with the Magic till 1996 and then went on to play for five more teams in the NBA before retiring in 2011.

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Abhishek Singh

452 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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