Future NBA Halll of Famer and former center Shaquille O’Neal joined The Mike Wise show to discuss the Dream Team, his broadcasting career and the NBA finals between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The diesel, as Shaq is often referred to as, started off by talking about his decision to retire and how it was an easy one when his numbers began to decline.
“Once I dropped off from playing at a high level, I was going to open the doors of people saying that I’m old… if I’m not averaging 27 and 10 I’m not feeling good about myself,” O’Neal said.
When asked about being left off of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, Shaq admitted he was upset when Dukes’ Christian Laettner was the collegiate player chosen instead of him.
“I was pissed off, jealous, and I had to come to the realization that I was a more explosive more powerful player but Christian Laettner was more fundamentally sound than I was,” O’Neal said.
Despite winning game three and leading the series 2 to 1, Shaq thinks that the Heat need to play with more fire.
“Their slogan in the locker room should be that they’re not going back to OKC,” O’Neal said.
O’Neal added that game four will be the true test of the series to see who will be crowned the champion this year.
Shaq closed his time with Mike Wise by talking about his new beginning in broadcasting on TNT’s Inside the NBA.” He admitted it was a struggle at first but he has grown more comfortable as the season has progressed.
“Next year you will see a vast improvement, I don’t like messing up… next year they are going to call me the black Ernie Johnson,” said O’Neal.