Share this article

Shaquille O’Neal, Whose Salary Demand Was Rejected by Lakers, Once Revealed Allowing Young Teammate to Earn More than Him for One Reason

Published 08/08/2022, 1:00 PM EDT

Follow Us

Shaquille O’Neal once detailed in a podcast how he was snubbed by the Orlando Magic which prompted him to move to Los Angeles. The Big Diesel also described how he facilitated his former Magic teammate Penny Hardaway to get a pay raise but wasn’t returned the favor when his turn came to get paid. In other words, Shaquille O’Neal opened up on the incidents that led to his massive $120 million move to the city of angels.

America’s Favorite Video Today

The Orlando Magic drafted Shaquille O’Neal as the number one overall pick in the 1992 draft. In the following year’s draft, they managed to obtain the perfect accomplice for him to dominate the NBA. The Magic traded Chris Webber to the Golden State Warriors for a young Penny Hardaway.


Article continues below this ad

Soon after, Shaq and Penny shared the spotlight as the centerpiece of the Florida franchise. However, things started to sour in paradise when Magic denied Shaq his pay request.

Shaquille O’Neal on facilitating Penny Hardaway a salary increase

In a podcast interview, Shaquille O’Neal revealed the series of events that led to him joining the Los Angeles Lakers. As it turns out, Shaq endorsed Penny Hardaway’s demands for a salary increase. In fact, he encouraged the Magic organization to give Hardaway his fair share.

I understand the game,” the 7’1″ giant revealed during the interview. “If a BMW cost 115, what do you think a Benz gonna cost?’


127.6k readers Last 30 min

Get instantly notified of the hottest NBA stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Cause my shit coming up right after his and you gonna have to pay me too,” he added.”

via Getty

However, Hardaway refused to return the favor to Shaq later on, according to the 15-time All-Star’s testimony. And Orlando Magic denied the veteran center his coveted sum as well. As a result, Shaq decided to leave Orlando and accept a whopping $120 million deal from the Lakers.


Article continues below this ad

Incidentally, the Lakers would, later on, fail to meet Shaquille O’Neal’s needs, too. Therefore, the four-time NBA champion would move to Florida once again in 2004. But this time for a different franchise, the Miami Heat.

Shaq advises young stars to stick together

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely

From a vantage point, Shaq advises youngsters to stick together in dire situations. In other words, he counsels them to not separate from one another over pay or ego-related reasons.


Article continues below this ad

Watch this Story: Jake Paul, Shakur Stevenson, and Other Boxers Who Reacted to WNBA Athlete Brittney Griners Prison Sentence

Do you think Shaq should’ve stayed in Orlando with Penny Hardaway? Let us know in the comment section.



Satagni Sikder

373 articles

Satagni Sikder is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and has been following the NBA since 2017. Moreover, he supports the Dallas Mavericks, and unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic is his favorite player.

Edited By: Ajinkya Aswale