If he was also entitled to his period of glory and reign over the league, Shaquille O’Neal for a time had to deal with the hegemony of the Bulls of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. The Diesel has also spoken about these rivals of a time lately, with a shocking statement!
Before putting his imposing mark on the NBA, and starting the new millennium as MVP and champion for the first time, Shaquille O’Neal was entitled to the same price as all its contemporaries in the 1990s. Arrived in the league, and more precisely in the Eastern Conference in 1992, the legendary pivot suffered for years from the control of the Bulls.
Executioner of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in 1995, Shaq never again managed to get the better of them. In particular, he suffered their law the following year with a scathing sweep in the conference finals, before going into exile to the West and the Lakers to experience more success. Today, however, he admits that he could have taken a radically different choice at the time.
Shaq evokes a crazy Big Three with Jordan and Pippen
Now converted consultant for TNT, O’Neal was able to observe in a privileged place the recent metamorphoses of the league. Among them: the democratization of superteams and meetings of superstars. In a recent episode of his Big Podcast, he also imagined the changes that this would have caused in his career. And according to him, this new context would have led him… to settle down in Chicago!
If I had known it was ok to join the best players, I would have made sure to play for the Chicago Bulls.
Bad luck for him, since this kind of XXL gatherings were simply unimaginable at the time. Instead, the biggest stars on the circuit were each trying to get the upper hand in their respective teams, and bring down the biggest names “fairly”.
Rather than forming an incredible overpowering trio with Jordan and Pippen, the Diesel therefore bounced back to Los Angeles, where the Lakers remained on a season that had simply ended in the first round of the playoffs. On site, he immediately imposed himself as the leader of the team, and only a few years later was able to take advantage of the talent of Kobe Bryant to accumulate champion rings.
Already formidable without him between 1996 and 1998, the Bulls would undoubtedly have been even more so if they had been able to benefit from such a dominant big man. On the other hand, the war of egos within the locker room, well illustrated in the documentary The Last Dance, would also have proved even more ferocious. This what-if is therefore enough to generate many debates and fantasies within the NBA community!
Shaquille O’Neal member of the Bulls of the great era? The hypothesis makes the Big Cactus salivate himself, who apparently would not have hesitated to join Chicago in the current context. Fortunately for the competition, this meeting never took place!