Shaquille O'Neal Says Phil Jackson Told Him No More Albums, Limit Commercials

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 19, 2020

Shaquille O'Neal arrives at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 24, 2019, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Richard Shotwell/Associated Press

Hall of Fame center Shaquille O'Neal disclosed how his former head coach Phil Jackson gained his trust during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show Monday (3:03 mark):

Rich Eisen Show @RichEisenShow

The great @SHAQ talked #TheLastDance finale with us and how he got Phil Jackson to come coach the #LakeShow in 1999-'00: https://t.co/lT8zarLj9H

"He brought a resume. If he says, 'Do this,' we all know that he knows what he's talking about. Because every summer when we'd lose, we'd watch him in the Finals. ... When I first met him, he said, 'Look, if you listen to me, you'll be MVP. You listen to me, you will win a championship.' And I said, 'Cool.' First thing he said, 'No more albums, limit your commercials and do everything I say.' And I agreed, and it was probably the best years that I played. Once we had that formula of how to win, we were just thirsty for more."

O'Neal's 1993 debut album Shaq Diesel achieved platinum status while the 1992 No. 1 overall pick simultaneously earned 1992-93 NBA Rookie of the Year honors with the Orlando Magic. The 48-year-old went on to release Shaq-Fu: Da Return (1994), You Can't Stop The Reign (1996) and Respect (1998).

The 15-time All-Star signed with the Los Angeles Lakers during free agency in 1996.

Jackson began his head coaching career with the Chicago Bulls from 1989 through 1998. The 74-year-old implemented the triangle offense to propel the Michael Jordan-led Bulls to six championships, including two three-peats (1991-93, 1995-98).

The Lakers hired Jackson ahead of the 1999-2000 campaign. From there, they achieved a three-peat from 2000-02 with the late Kobe Bryant and O'Neal at the helm. Jackson would win two more titles while head coach of the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, but by then, O'Neal had departed for the Miami Heat (2004-08), Phoenix Suns (2008-09), Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-10) and Boston Celtics (2010-11).

O'Neal has revived his music career in retirement as DJ Diesel.  


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