When Shaquille O’Neal Created a Fake Story to Get Back at San Antonio Legend David Robinson

Published 12/25/2021, 6:30 AM EST
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 06: Shaquille O’Neal appears to promote “Toys for Tots” during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)


Shaquille O’Neal is one of the greatest players to play in the NBA. Just like any of the greats, Shaq had the killer instinct as well. He did anything to gain motivation. However, it may be the first time that someone created fake drama to get that additional motivation. Well, the Big Diesel pulled the move on another great center, David Robinson.

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Robinson had been one of the greatest players in the league. He led the San Antonio Spurs season after season and continued to grow his resume. When Shaq came in, he had his eyes set to overthrow David for the best center. However, in 1994, David dominated Shaq.

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 06: Shaquille O’Neal attends AOL Build to discuss his collaboration with Toys For Tots at AOL HQ on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)

Hence, for an extra bit of fuel, Shaquille O’Neal shared an incident with David Robinson. It turns out that it was fake all along.

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Shaquille O’Neal creates fake beef for motivation?

Shaq was an extremely competitive player during his time. Since coming into the league, he quickly asserted himself as one of the best big men in the league. However, David Robinson was always regarded as the best center. Hence, these two were at constant war. In 1994, Robinson put on a masterclass against Shaq going off for 36 points and 13 rebounds.

Out of spite, Shaq shared a story about Robinson. He said when he was 15, David denied young Shaq an autograph which is the reason he plays hard against him. Nearly a decade later, Shaq revealed a dirty secret. He only created this story to light the fire in him. The media took to the fake story and Shaq gained all the motivation he needed.

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The two greats played each other a total of 40 times through their NBA career. Robinson took the edge in the regular season but O’Neal got the better in the postseason. When it comes to the numbers, Shaq was all over David. The Big Diesel averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks against Robinson. In fact, The Big Admiral’s 1994 performance was his best against Shaq.

WATCH THIS STORY: NBA Stars That Shaquille O’Neal Has Taken Jabs at: Donovan Mitchell, James Harden & Others

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However, it is surreal to think O’Neal put on a whole show just to get the extra bit of motivation. Now, after a decade, he came out clean but the two legends are friends despite their battles.

Do you think Shaq would dominate even without the fake story? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

692 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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