Shaquille O’Neal: “Players today dislike physical contact… I’d beat you up.”

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By Creative Media News

Shaquille O’Neal was the most dominant center in the NBA and one of the finest players in the league’s history during his playing days. It is not as simple as it once was.

Since he retired from professional basketball 11 years ago, O’Neal has explored endeavors in so many different fields that they cannot all fit on his LinkedIn profile.

The 50-year-old possesses an MBA and a Ph.D. (his dissertation was titled “How Leaders Use Humor or Aggression in Leadership Styles”). He is the inventor of the Big Chicken franchise and owns many Five Guys, Auntie Anne’s, and Papa John’s restaurants. As DJ Diesel, he performs at international music festivals and has collaborated with fashion and jewelry lines, technology goods, and children’s books.

Shaquille o'neal: "players today dislike physical contact... I'd beat you up. "
Shaquille o'neal: "players today dislike physical contact... I'd beat you up. "

Not that he’s forgotten about basketball: he was a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings from 2013 until this year, is a popular analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA, and is a co-host of The Big Podcast with Shaq.

The list is exhaustive.

“I’m passionate about having the ability to do things to touch people, make them smile, and have a good time,” O’Neal told in an interview in Abu Dhabi, where he was helping promote two NBA preseason games held for the first time in the Gulf. “[NBA commissioner] Adam Silver could have phoned a large number of NBA players, but he chose to call me instead, and I’m delighted I attended.”

O’Neal claims that he began preparing for life beyond basketball during the second season of his 19-year NBA career.

“I was taught that you must always have a backup plan,” he continues. “My parents were experts at asking, ‘What if you injure yourself?’ What if you aren’t that talented? What are you going to do? Save a portion of this cash. No, I do not want a new car, as you purchased one for me last year; please save your money. Therefore, we will constantly consider this.

Players now dont like contact
Shaquille o'neal: "players today dislike physical contact... I'd beat you up. "

“Then I thought, eventually I’ll have to retire, but I’d prefer to maintain the same lifestyle. When you begin with nothing and subsequently get everything, you desire to preserve it all. So how can I retain everything? You must devise clever and creative means to ensure that my mother keeps the property I just purchased her and that my sister keeps the car I gave her.”

O’Neal places a premium on collaborating with the right individuals and ensured he was financially literate.

The finest thing that ever occurred to me was purchasing the book Dummies Guide to Starting Your Own Business. My favorite chapter was the one on joint ventures. “Because I am a real believer in difficult things, I reduce them to their simplest form,” he explains.

After discovering that I am Egyptian, he continues, “For instance, if I were to create a media publication in Egypt, I would contact you because this is what you do. You run it, you’d be the boss, you’d be the CEO, and you’d report to me instead of me living in Atlanta and trying to figure out what’s happening in Egypt while you’re there.”

Despite his diverse interests, O’Neal maintains tight ties to the NBA.

Like the rest of the world, he is impressed by the 7ft 2 French youngster Victor Wembanyama, the most intriguing prospect in years and a lock for the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draught of 2023.

O’Neal said of Wembanyama, “He’s a phenomenal player with limitless potential.” “Eventually, he will have to take it to each level. When I arrived, I was in excellent shape. Then someone stated that you must improve. Then they declared, “Shaq is a fantastic player.” But I desired to surpass that status. Then I desired to be the greatest, and then I desired to be the greatest of all time. If he has this mindset, he will likely be one of the greatest players ever.

“He has all the tools: [height], dribbling, shooting, and fadeaways… if he continues to play that way, nobody can stop him. But at some point, you must continue — you cannot be satisfied with where you are.”

O’Neal longs for the days when basketball was dominated by bouts between giants underneath the hoop. He holds himself responsible for the game’s departure from this physical style of play.

The four-time NBA champion laments, “I do miss those great rivalries, and it’s all my fault that big men no longer desire to play inside.” “Because you are a product of your surroundings, when I observed large men playing, they fought in the middle. It was like, center yourself. Right? Then, as I arrived and began hitting individuals, the huge men began to emerge.

“Now look at players such as Victor Wembanyama; he grew up admiring Dirk Nowitzki. He grew up observing Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett in action. Therefore, it is all they know.”

O’Neal insists he would continue to play a physically demanding game in this era.

“Each of these jump shooters… This indicates you dislike physical contact. I would simply beat you. “And now you’re attempting to protect me, but you don’t have those legs and your arms are sore, so your shot won’t fall the same,” he says.

Team rivalries in the NBA are also not what they once were, something Silver says “we’ve thought a lot about.” While Silver acknowledges that rivalries between clubs cannot be manufactured, the league will attempt to publicize “rivalry games” when they occur.

O’Neal believes that the finest NBA players are under such much pressure to win a championship that they frequently switch teams in search of a championship victory.

“It’s disheartening to be labeled a great player and not have a title,” says O’Neal. “Especially when you keep trying to do it by yourself and you can’t, you have to resort to what’s easy: ‘Hey, I’ll partner up with this guy’s squad or team up with this man.'”

We, all of us veterans, dislike this because we enjoy competition. I used to like rooting for the Lakers to defeat the Pistons. It is a competition to watch Detroit defeat the Bulls and for us to defeat the Spurs. Due to the demands, a large number of men are forming alliances.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been with the Milwaukee Bucks since they drafted him in 2013, will not be leaving. In 2021, he assisted them in winning their first NBA championship in fifty years.

O’Neal is a huge fan of the Greek celebrity, and the sentiment is returned. When recently asked which characteristics he would absorb from other great, Antetokounmpo chose O’Neal’s domination.

Is there anything from Antetokounmpo that O’Neal would have liked to have had when he was a player?

O’Neal remarked, “I was Giannis before Giannis.” “During our era, they discouraged big men from dribbling. Occasionally, I would tell the coach to piss off, and I would take the ball coast to coast and throw it down. It was my job to get the audience back on and get people involved in the game since at that point in the game I felt that dad and son or dad and daughter were not getting their money’s worth.

Even in Abu Dhabi, where he was besieged by fans wherever he went, more than a decade after his retirement, O’Neal continues to bring the crowd to its feet.

Shaq will always be successful, entertaining, and dominant, regardless of his identity.

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