Shaquille O'Neal Talks Kobe Bryant Memories, Dwyane Wade, More in B/R AMA

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 16, 2022

Host Shaquille O'Neal attends Shaq's Fun House on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP)
Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP

Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and Inside the NBA analyst Shaquille O'Neal sat down for a Bleacher Report AMA on Tuesday and went through a number of topics, including stories about former teammates Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade and more.

O'Neal played in the NBA from 1992-93 to 2010-11. His decorated resume includes four NBA titles and 15 All-Star Game selections.

He and Bryant notably led the Los Angeles Lakers to three straight NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. Shaq then left for the Miami Heat in 2004 and won the 2006 title with Wade.

O'Neal also won the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics with Team USA basketball.


The following is a full transcript from the AMA session.

@BigNetsGuy15: What are you most excited for people to see in your new series 'The Game Plan'?

I met some very inspiring people and I want to help them share their messages.

@TheBair123: Where did your inspiration for doing good come from? Was it always engraved in you as a person or did something click along the way?

When you come from nothing and you achieve everything, there is two ways to go: do I keep being by yourself and you forget or you don't forget and I will always want to be the one to make people smile, especially when I go out and see little kids. Always trying to say: that was me, that can still be me. A lot of people dig their own crater and never know what they're doing. It was actually one of my funnest shows that I've ever done.

@Wes7: What would you have done differently to prepare for the NBA when you were younger?

That's a trick question. I've done it my way. I probably would have saved a lot more money, but money isn't everything. I didn't want to be rich. I wanted my mom to have the ability to buy whatever she want and not have problems. I used to see my mother worrying about whether she can buy a new dress or not. It wasn't about 100, 200 million. It was about her. That was always my motivation. That is still my motivation to this day.

@MaverickPrince: What was your first impression of Dwyane Wade?

When I played, I never paid attention to who is who because I'm trying to get that spot. Mike was on his way out. There was room for somebody to be that face and I always wanted to be that face. I wasn't really worried about other guys and then we got swept in the playoffs. Watching basketball, Baron Davis was always one of my favorite players, but I see this young kid give Baron Davis the business, and that's when I paid attention to D-Wade. So now when it was time for me to get traded, I didn't want to start over at 30. D-Wade was probably the best choice that I got at the time.

@ThiccKingTua_: Favorite personal Kobe memory?

We were able to push each other. Big brother, little brother. My best friend. We were able to push each other to the maximum commitment that gave us the ability to get 3 out of 4, so I would never have done anything differently.

@Jojo473454: Who was the one player that gave you the most problems?

Hakeem Olajuwon. Most guys are tri-dimensional—one move, two, maybe three. Hakeem had seven moves on each block so he was hard to stop.

@Hornetsfan_: Most memorable in-game moment?

I only got one game winner. Baseline fadeaway vs. Utah. I always wanted to know what it felt like to hit that shot. I got one.

@ripcity3: What's the origin story of 'barbecue chicken'?

BBQ chicken means this guy isn't going to be able to guard someone else. They're going to eat them up like BBQ.

@Derockmx43: At what moment did you know Shareef had a similar passion and gift for basketball?

I used to make him watch me and D-Wade. I knew he was going to be tall, but I was hoping he wouldn't be 6'9' so he could be a guard. When I grew up, I was a shooter, but when you start playing with people his size, you don't want to shoot, you want to dunk it. I always made sure my kids were all able to shoot the ball. I tell all my kids, you don't need basketball. You could be a surgeon, a lawyer, run a hedge fund, do anything you want.

@SweatyBurrito4: What made you want to become a DJ? General love of music or an experience?

Now, it's the only thing that gives me the same adrenaline as playing in the NBA.

@CleFan4Ever: If you were stranded on an island with one host from Inside The NBA, Who are we going with and why?

Charles, so I could beat his ass every time he gets out of the water. I would say 'stay in the f--king water' every time he come to the shore.