63 YO “Mentor”, Who Lost 10 Times to Shaquille O’Neal, Reflects on Facing “A Young Shaq” on the Court

Published 09/04/2023, 12:50 PM EDT

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The DJ Vlad TV’s YouTube channel recently uploaded a new video where Shaq’s mentor shared some insights into his relationship with the legendary basketball player, Shaquille O’Neal. When his rival turned mentor was asked about playing against a young Shaq, he described him as “an energetic young man” with extraordinary game skills.

The Atlanta Hawks’ legend also revealed that even though they were rivals, he did indeed play a pivotal role in mentoring Shaq when he first entered the league. This story highlights the unique friendship and mentorship of Wilkins as Shaq in the NBA.

Wilkins and Shaq beyond the court


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Wilkins recalled his first interaction with Shaq when he was still in college. Wilkins said in the interview, “I first met him when he was in college, LSU.” This was the exact moment that started a career-long friendship for these legends, on and off the court!


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Wilkins doesn’t shy away from praising Shaq. In the interview, he said, “I love Shaq.” He went on telling tales of their friendship and described Shaq as a “great guy.” Their friendship evolved from the court to their personal lives, with both the legends developing respect for each other in the process.


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Shaquille O’Neal: The James Brown of Basketball

Wilkins also portrays his immense love for Shaq’s work ethic. He referred to Shaq as “the James Brown of basketball.” This comes after Shaq’s relentless efforts for success and giving back to the community! “How many jobs does he have? He’s doing everything, getting every dollar,” Wilkins said about Shaq’s hardworking nature.

In the interview, he also talks about a very special moment! This is something that happened way back in the Boston Garden. He proudly revealed that he had scored the final point at the historic Boston Garden, a cherished memory in his illustrious career.


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Dominique Wilkins and Shaquille O’Neal’s relationship goes beyond the hardwood court. Wilkins, although a rival, became a mentor and friend to Shaq. He witnessed Shaq’s dedication and hard work from a very young age. These are the exact qualities that make him a basketball legend and a successful businessman.

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Written by:

Nischal Bahuguna


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Nischal Bahuguna is an NBA author at EssentiallySports, with a deep passion for sports and writing. He is an NBA enthusiast and a seasoned basketball player. With over two years of professional writing experience, Nischal seamlessly blends his interests and skills to excel in his craft.
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Edited by:

Debmallya Chakraborty