During the reception for the Orlando Magic’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, former NBA big-man, Shaquille O’Neal, stated that he regrets ever having left the Orlando Magic.
O’Neal, or as he is more commonly referred to, Shaq – he also goes by the names “The Big Diesel,” “The Big Aristotle,” “Shaq Daddy,” and “The Big Shaqtus,” just to name a few –first joined the NBA in 1992 as a first round draft pick for the Orlando Magic. At that point in the NBA’s history, the Orlando Magic were still a young and fledgling team. Shaq’s dominance down-low however, was a huge boost for the young Orlando Magic. Shaq’s game point average of 26.6 helped propel the Magic to the 1996 NBA Finals where the Magic were eventually defeated by the Houston Rockets.
Regardless of the success he helped bring about in Orlando over the course of the 1995-96 season, Shaq would never again play for the Orlando Magic. In 1996, Shaq became an unrestricted free agent and would eventually leave for California were he would go on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers and generate some of the greatest rap songs and videos ever known to mankind. See below for an example of what rap is supposed to be.
Now, after almost 20 years since leaving Orlando, a now-retired O’Neal has publicly stated that he wishes that he had never left it the first place. Shaq’s shocking disclosure took place Friday, March 27 as he was being inducted into the Orlando Magic’s Hall of Fame. When asked about his 1996 decision to leave, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Shaq had the following to say,
“It was all business… Do I regret it? I never fully answered. I regret it sometimes. This is where I started, where I should’ve stayed. I actually wish that they [had] made it a law that whoever drafted you, you’ve got to stay there your whole career. No trades. No nothing. No free agency. No anything like that. Do I regret it? I regret it only because the DeVos family, they deserve a couple [of NBA titles].”
Such a confession certainly comes as a surprise for many basketball fans. What is perhaps most surprising about Shaq’s confession is that he stated that he now wishes the ability for a player to trade teams be removed. It was because of Shaq’s ability to trade teams in the first place, that he would eventually go onto win three NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and a fourth title with the Miami Heat. One may rightfully conclude, that Shaq’s sentiments go to prove that the grass may regretfully not always be as green as it was once assumed to be.
[Image credit to ballislife.com]