50-Year-Old Shaquille O’Neal Caught Making False Claims On “Worst Teammate” Dennis Rodman Just For A “60 Point” Jab At Michael Jordan’s Bulls

Published 07/21/2022, 3:08 PM EDT

It isn’t a surprise that Shaquille O’Neal is a competitive person. During his time in the NBA, he was a killer on the floor. The Lakers legend bullied his way to four championships in his illustrious career. But his greatest team has to be the 2001 Lakers. He and Kobe Bryant made history by going 15-1 in the postseason. Likewise, the Big Diesel believes they were the best team in NBA history. Even when matched up against the 72-10 Bulls, Shaq didn’t budge. However, he made a major error when it came to his arch-nemesis, Dennis Rodman.

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Rodman goes down as one of the greatest rebounders of all time. The Worm was a force on the defensive end. He played a major role in Michael Jordan and the Bulls’ second three-peat. But due to his fearless personality, Rodman made many enemies. And one of them was Shaquille O’Neal. When no one could stop the big man, Rodman stood tall in their battle.

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)

While justifying his 2001 Lakers being the best, it seems Shaq lost track of time. He claimed to beat Rodman in the playoffs. However, that never happened.

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Shaquille O’Neal slips up on his Rodman take

During an episode of Shaq’s podcast, an argument for the best team in NBA history came on. For Shaq, there was no looking past the 2001 Lakers. However, his co-host, Spice Adams, was not letting him go that easy. He put up a great opponent with the 72-10 Chicago Bulls who won it all in 1996. He claimed the Big Diesel won’t be able to drop “60 points” on a defender like the Worm. But Shaq had another picture in his mind.

Just a year before, a young Diesel had beaten the Bulls in the playoffs. Hence, he thought, Rodman won’t be able to stop him. However, where the Big Diesel fumbled was, Rodman wasn’t with the Bulls during the 1994-95 season. Hence, while Shaq surely beat Michael Jordan, he never got the taste of the Worm in the postseason. With that said, they did meet next season. So, how did that turn out?

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Unfortunately for Shaq, Rodman was a menace in their matchup in 1996. O’Neal was pretty much unstoppable, but Dennis Rodman somehow came up big. The Bulls swept the Magic to complete their revenge, and none of it would have been possible without the Worm’s lockdown on Shaq. He limited Shaq to just 27 points. As the most dominant force on the planet, struggling to score was new to Shaq.

The two even got in a serious altercation when a prime Shaq was on the Lakers. However, despite the tension, they came on the same side in 1999. But the heat was too much to make it work. Shaquille O’Neal said Rodman was his worst teammate, and the Worm felt the same. While the two never saw eye to eye, both Shaq and Rodman remain legends of the game. Without their competitive fire, the game of basketball wouldn’t have achieved the fame that it enjoys today.

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Do you think the 2001 Lakers could beat the 1996 Chicago Bulls? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

1555 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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