Shaquille O’Neal made Kobe Bryant’s life a dwelling nightmare when the latter was traded to the LA Lakers after being chosen thirteenth general within the 1996 NBA draft. O’Neal had already been within the league for a handful of years, that means he felt as if he wanted to haze the rookies. As an admitted bully rising up, O’Neal picked up proper the place he left off at school.
Though rookie hazing was considerably of a proper of passage within the NBA, O’Neal admitted that he and the Lakers could have taken issues too far. To set the stage, it was O’Neal’s first season in LA, and he was recent off the most important contract in skilled sports activities on the time.
With the 7-foot-1 star enjoying below the lights of some of the storied franchises in NBA historical past, Shaq’s bullying as soon as once more got here into play. As he wrote in his ebook, ultimately Kobe Bryant ratted him, and the remainder of the staff vets, out to Common Supervisor Jerry West. Shaq wrote:
“We had been dogging them out continually. It was ‘Go get my baggage, go get me one thing to eat.’ It was type of a ceremony of passage within the NBA that a variety of groups do, however we in all probability went slightly too far with it. One of many rookies—Derek Fisher—simply took it. The opposite rookie—Kobe Bryant—ratted us out to Jerry.
“Jerry referred to as me into his workplace and completely crucified me. He was actually ticked off about it. ‘The child is eighteen years previous, and the 2 of you’ll be able to win 5 championships in case you simply work collectively, and already you’re down his throat,’ he mentioned. ‘What the hell are you considering? Be smarter than that. Be a pacesetter!’”
As O’Neal wrote, if he closed his eyes, the lecture from West sounded prefer it was coming from his adoptive father, Sgt. Philip Arthur Harrison.
Shaquille O’Neal and Sgt. Philip Arthur Harrison
As Shaquille O’Neal has defined earlier than, it was his stepfather Sgt. Philip Arthur Harrison that made him the person he’s immediately. To place issues plainly, Shaq was admittedly fairly the troubled youth. He typically discovered himself in bother, and with little route, his life was headed down a foul path.
It was his stepfather who satisfied him to do nicely at school. When O’Neal did, he was rewarded with tickets to see the New York Knicks sq. off in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Sq. Backyard. When O’Neal noticed Julius Erving go baseline and throw it down for a dunk, he knew precisely what he wished to do along with his life.
In response to Shaquille O’Neal, his stepfather informed him that if he listened, he would flip him into one of many biggest massive males the sport had ever seen. Nicely, suffice to say, Shaq listened, and to at the present time he continues to credit score Sgt. Philip Arthur Harrison with altering his life.
You’ll be able to Shaquille O’Neal’s tribute to Kobe Bryant, his sister, and his adoptive father within the video beneath.
(Advised Studying: When Shaq by chance spent his whole first-year Lakers contract)