Shaquille O’Neal Explains How a Live Concert Atmosphere is Similar to an NBA Finals Game

Published 08/26/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 25: Former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal speaks at the 12th Annual Lakers All-Access Event at Staples Center on January 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)


Hearing the journey is better than the destination sounds amazing, but in the world of basketball, nothing is more exciting than the NBA Finals. Yes, the regular season and the playoffs are very entertaining, and the anticipation of which team will end up holding the Larry O’Brien trophy is another feeling altogether. But when two teams are just a few games away from achieving something, players work their entire lives for, is an unmatched moment. In fact, Shaquille O’Neal has a very interesting ideology for it.

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Shaquille O’Neal makes a wild comparison to NBA Finals

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Getting to the NBA Finals, the biggest stage in basketball is something not every player or franchise get’s to experience. In the league’s history, we’ve had a plethora of matchups in this final series that are truly unforgettable. But on the opposite end of this spectrum, there are some that are yet to be seen.

Just imagine if Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal weren’t Lakers‘ teammates. Instead, they met in a faceoff in the NBA Finals. Or if Michael Jordan had to go head to head with the team that chose Sam Bowie over him in the NBA Draft? But more so, this is a moment in a player’s career that is filled with emotions.

Shaq, who has been to the Finals more than a lot of other players, knows that feeling very well. In fact, in his most recent ‘Full Send Podcast’ with comedian Druski, he even stated, “Festivals, that’s just like being at the Finals. Game 7… and if you’re up 2 games and win it, everyone is celebrating.” 

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The downside of reaching the finals

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JUNE 12: Kobe Bryant, Lindsey Hunter and Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate following Game Four of the NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets on June 12, 2002 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

While most would think there aren’t any, but the feeling of losing at such a level stays longer than the thrill of the victory. What most people say is confetti, players popping champagne bottles, smoking cigars, and whatnot. But just down the hall, the losing team’s despair often goes unnoticed.

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Of course, no player would wish not to get this far, but it’s something to think about. Falling short at the most crucial moment is something that can haunt players forever. But the rat race goes on and will continue to do so, hopefully till the end of time.

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Yashima Bhatia

1489 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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