Shaquille O’Neal just can’t stop talking about the San Antonio Spurs, he’s now admitting that he made up a rumor about The Admiral
The greatest NBA players all have one thing in common, an inconquerable competitive drive. Some are born with it, some have a defining moment that sparks their competitive fire, and some use slights, perceived or real, to continually motivate them throughout their careers. Shaquille O’Neal is back in the news with the San Antonio Spurs, this time over a slight he now admits was made up.
The 1990s were a golden age for NBA big men. The league was dominated by legendary names like Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, and David Robinson. But in 1992 one towering young man would enter the league and change the landscape forever. Shaq was a dominant force from the moment he stepped on the floor during his rookie season.
Over the next two decades, O’Neal would publically clash with dozens of his NBA peers. He used it all as motivation, every interaction was just more fuel on the fire that would lead him to be one of the NBA’s most unstoppable big men of all time. But as we’re just finding out, not all of the slights were even true.
Shaq made up the rumor about San Antonio Spurs legend David Robinson
One of the interactions that O’Neal used as motivation was an incident in when the San Antonio resident was allegedly denied an autograph by David Robinson who was just taking over the league as the leader of the Spurs. Turns out he made it all up.
"I had to make up a rumor to get mad." – Shaq@SHAQ apologizes to David Robinson (@DavidtheAdmiral) for making up a rumor about him not signing an autograph when he was younger that he used for motivation. pic.twitter.com/DOmqTmPcqG
— NBA (@NBA) May 18, 2020
As Shaq admitted, The Admiral cooked young Superman during his first few years in the league. SB Nation has a great video on their long-standing rivalry that you should check out here. The two quarreled in the media and on the court, and eventually, Shaq just needed to find a new way to get going so he made up the rumor about Robinson snubbing him as a kid.
The two would go on to be Olympic teammates and Hall of Fame members and as you can tell from their recent video conference there are no hard feelings over such a small thing as a made-up rumor. Still, it’s a funny and not entirely surprising anecdote.
It’s hard to questions Shaq’s methods at this point, as his resume speaks for itself. Still, it’s pretty funny that Robinson was taking up so much real estate in his head that Shaq had to make up a rumor to try to find an edge.