Shaquille O’Neal Reveals Surprising Fact About His Rivalry With Hall of Famer David Robinson

Published 09/18/2021, 9:30 AM EDT
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)


In terms of dominant centers of the league, Shaquille O’Neal and David Robinson have always stood out. The duo was so strong that opposition teams just stood inside the paint, not knowing what to do. Shaq was a four-time NBA champion while Robinson won it two times. However, during the early 2000s, both of them were reported to have a beef with each other. And Shaq recently threw some limelight on the situation.

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Shaquille O’Neal opens up on his beef with Robinson

The rivalry between the Lakers and the Spurs was at an all-time high. Thus, both these centers were important for their teams and they showcased their talents against the other teams. The center spoke about the troubles they had via Scoop B Radio. He offered the respect the center deserved.

“David was just so nice and respectful. He’s just a nice guy. I’m not a bully. You have to piss me off for me to get mad. I had to make something up just to make me mad.”

But, it all started when he went to San Antonio as Shaq got booed by the home fans. And that triggered the Diesel.

“It was all made up. When I came down to San Antonio and the fans start booing me–‘Oh you’re booing me in my hometown?’ And then it was like a hatred thing for David & the Spurs.”

Although he has told that there is no beef between the two of them, Shaquille O’Neal went head-on against Robinson for a long time. Thus, their rivalry was well documented by a lot of fans. It’s no secret that both of them were key players for their franchise.

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Shaq and Robinson were legends

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Putting up monstrous numbers, the big center was important for his franchise. During the 1999-00 season, he won his first NBA title with the Lakers and produced some incredible numbers on the court. He averaged 30.7 points, 15.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. Those are video game-like numbers; that’s how dominant he was for a long time.

Likewise, Robinson was amazing as well. During the 1993-94 season, he averaged 29.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. It was unique to see a center with good playmaking skills. Apart from that, he got 1.7 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Those are just outrageous numbers. Thus, a reference to Godzilla and Kong is obvious; both were dominant.

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Thus, all doubts about their apparent rivalry are done and dusted. These two dominated the league like no one else. The Admiral and Big Shaq were legends of their game.

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Jacob Gijy

489 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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