The Hall of Famer had a 19-year career spanning from 1992 to 2011 and was 15-15 all-time in the playoffs against the Spurs. His frequent run-ins with San Antonio included series losses in 1999, 2003, and 2008 and wins in 2001, 2002, and 2004.
Perhaps things might've been way different if the trend of forming super teams was around back then though. Shaq stopped by Robert Horry's podcast to discuss how things were different in the 1990s and early 2000s.
"Guys are getting real lazy and real cute, and they want guys like me and Big Shot Bob to show them some respect," started O'Neal. "Trust me, if I knew it was okay to team up after Houston swept us in '94, I would've went and played next to Hakeem and Rob."
O'Neal's NBA career began with a first round loss followed by an NBA Finals loss to the Houston Rockets in 1995. His Orlando Magic then were swept by the Chicago Bulls in 1996.
"I would've went and played with [Michael] Jordan every time they beat us," continued Shaq. "I would've went and played with Tim Duncan and David Robinson. I'm from San Antonio. I could've came down there and played and won, but I was like nope. I'm taking my licks, licking my wounds, and I want to beat these dudes -- and we did."
Not Teaming Up Worked Out for Both Sides
While having Shaquille O'Neal join the Spurs in 2000 or 2004 would've been scary for the league, it's safe to say the fact he didn't jump ship worked out for both sides. His Lakers immediately enjoyed a threepeat while the Spurs won titles in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014.
The NBA is increasingly seeing more stars recruit each other to big markets to win championships, and it's hard to blame Horry and O'Neal for not being a fan of that. Although they each saw their fair share of teams, they didn't exactly mastermind super teams or attempts at super teams, as many are doing today.