Shaquille O’Neal Wants Coach Prime to Leave Colorado? 7ft NBA Legend Makes Bizarre Pitch to 33.8 Million Fans

Published 01/11/2024, 10:28 PM EST

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Shaquille O’Neal made a recommendation that might make his bestie happy. While the Alabama Crimson Tide have been historic rivals of Auburn, Charles Barkley was a huge fan of Nick Saban. College football was rocked this week when the lauded coach announced his retirement. The news was such a big shocker that even Deion Sanders expressed his dejection.

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A man of ideas, Shaq jumped on Instagram with an interesting suggestion. “@deionsanders at alabama would be crazy @roparrish @alabamafbl.” To make it clear how out of left field this is for the big man, it accompanies a clip of O’Neal saying, “Hey, I don’t usually do this but Imma do it today, Deion Sanders for the Alabama job… let me know what you think.” 

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The suggestion left his 33.8 million followers polarized. Some are for it, some don’t think he’s fit for Crimson Tide, and most loathe the idea of Sanders leaving Colorado, where his son is the quarterback. Shaq himself has not outrightly said if he wants Sanders to come to Alabama. He’s just doing what he does best and stirring the pot.

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But the idea appeals to Coach Prime fans. Both Shaq and Chuck are Prime Time fanboys. Barkley even stated on the record that he was pushing his alma mater, Auburn, to recruit Sanders before he went to the down-and-out Colorado Buffaloes.

It would be interesting to know what Barkley thinks of this suggestion. It would be even more interesting to learn what Coach Sanders himself thinks about replacing Saban.

Sanders, who has worked with the illustrious coach in commercials, was disappointed himself that Saban was leaving. He blamed the changes in college football culture, which is making it difficult to sustain a championship team, as the reason for his “GOAT” leaving. His son, Shedeur Sanders, openly lobbied for Alabama players to transfer to Colorado so they could play under Coach Prime.

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Shaquille O’Neal might think Coach Prime is better

With seven national championships in the bag and leading the team to another Rose Bowl and College Football Playoff, 72-year-old Saban is lauded as one of the benchmarks of college coaches. But when Sanders revived the Buffs, he came pretty close. The Buffs were enjoying a winning streak early in the 2023 season, which led even O’Neal to make a bold claim.

He reshared a post on his Instagram Stories in September 2023 that implied that Coach Prime was better than Nick Saban. It may look like an endorsement of the idea, but again, he doesn’t outrightly say so.

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Sanders has no intention of leaving Colorado. Yet Shaq wants to know what fans think about Coach Prime in Alabama.

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Written by:

Caroline John

1,014Articles

One take at a time

I was 7 when I saw 'Space Jam' but didn't know till the third rewatch the lead actor is actually a living basketball legend. It was while studying journalism that my friend would go on about the Warriors from Golden State. Keen on athletes' personas outside their arenas, it was Stephen Curry's confidence and philanthropy that drew me to follow the news on NBA pros and explore sports media.
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