Shaquille O’Neal, a four-time NBA Champion and Hall of Famer amid everything attracted eyes to him again when he called Dennis Rodman the worst team player on his podcast.
He said although Rodman is a great player but makes things difficult. It is not the first instance when he blatantly spoke his heart out.
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Circling back to the Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Rodman controversy, the duo is considered larger-than-life personalities in the field. While Shaquille O’Neal has been a hall of Famer and a Four-Times NBA Champion, Dennis Rodman is regarded as the most outstanding rebounder. He has recently been selected as a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team.
Trouble between the two started when during AMA in the big Shaq Podcast, Shaquille O’Neal said,
“Worst Team Player?”
What’s notable is that Shaquille O’Neal played 19 seasons for 6 different franchises, which means he must’ve shared locker rooms with several players. On the other hand, Dennis only played one season, 1998-99, but when naming the worst team player, he didn’t need much time to think before quoting Rodman’s name.
While recalling a few incidents to justify his statement, he said. At the same time, the coaches wanted the whole team to be present an hour before the game. Dennis Rodman used to come just 15 minutes earlier, eat Chicken and Rice, take a cold shower, enter the game, and gives you 15-20 rebounds.
Shaq also accused the management of allowing Rodman to do what he did and how he did it.
Shaquille admits and respects that Dennis was a great player but criticizes him for his unprofessionalism. He also added that after the match, while the whole team would clean themselves up, Rodman would jump onto bars dancing with girls without even taking a shower.
This wasn’t the first time Shaq had something interesting about Dennis Rodman. A few years before playing as teammates, in 1996, Shaq went up against the Chicago Bulls, which eventually ended with Rodman dragged to the ground by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Quite recently, Shaq expressed his disagreement with how Dennis Rodman was dressed during last year’s All-Star Weekend. Rodman came wearing a different jacket than the official one, which he was supposed to model being a member of the 75th Anniversary team. Shaquille also criticized Rodman for awkwardly photobombing the other players present in the show.
Shaq went on to say:
“His(Shaquille O’Neal) mother would never allow that. So he represents Dr. Lucille O’Neal. He doesn’t just represent himself. He represents his mother and the other women in his life, Tahirah, Amirah, and Me’arah. He represents them. He might act silly and do his stuff. But when it comes time to be professional, he shall always be professional.”
However, Shaq tagging Rodman as the worst team player wasn’t surprising. Rodman indeed was thought to be a difficult teammate. One such incident was him leaving the Chicago Bulls in mid of a playoff run. Michael Jordan was then asked to bring him back to Chicago Bulls. By this time, Rodman reputed himself as one of the eccentric players.
On the other hand, Dennis Rodman is no less a critique of Shaq. In his biography, Walk on the Wild Side, Rodman mentions Shaq as a big-sell out.
‘Shaq can be seen giving interviews and blabbering things like, ‘he wants to get young, enjoy, and drink Pepsi,’ Rodman mocks Shaquille trying to sell desperately and goes on to explain why he, even after being so controversial, is approached by companies to promote their products.
He adds that the public knows and could see through who’s trying to sell desperately and who’s showing genuine interest.’ He said, ‘Shaq would even dress up as Pepsi during the match and called it pathetic.
It is a well-known fact that Shaquille O’Neal is just as dominant with his words off the court as he was on it. There have been many instances when his legendary disagreements and statements caught the limelight and sometimes caused him trouble.
One such incident is when he was traded off to Miami Heat because Shaq disagreed with Kobe Bryant.
Both these legends share some similarities in their personalities. Both have more or less the same egotistical traits, apparent when Shaq said that once he went into one of the parties with Rodman. He used to think of himself as the King. But what he saw was completely different.
What’s your take on this relatively age-old cat and mouse chase?