“He was the greatest person I’ve ever seen play,” admits Michael Jordan, intimidated by Shaquille O’Neal after coming out of retirement

Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal
Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal

During Michael Jordan’s stint in the NBA, he was known as one of the most dominant players who certainly didn’t know how to respect the tall and aggressive defenders. Not only was he the top scorer for his team, but his tenure in the league made fans recognize him as a beast who would just take to the air to score. However, MJ admitted he was intimidated to see Shaquille O’Neal torment the league with his size.

Shaquille O'Neal dives in
Shaquille O’Neal

For those who don’t know, Shaquille O’Neal and his greatness was mentioned by Michael Jordan on Tuesday’s Book of Basketball 2.0 podcast. Jordan explained how he felt seeing the diesel in action when he came out of retirement in 1995. Don’t be shocked, Michael Jordan came out of his first retirement in March 1995 and played the last 17 games of that season.

Also read: ‘I’m proud Will Smith stood up for his wife’ Former Mavericks…

Michael Jordan admits he was intimidated by Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal

Jordan explained: “When I got back from baseball – I don’t know if I ever told anyone – I play against Shaq. Shaq, the tallest person I’ve ever seen play. You know, he was a big matchup guy when I came back from baseball, so I was a little intimidated.”

Shaq, who is 7ft 1, was a 325-pounder who absolutely blasted the big boys in the league. He was also his best with the Orlando Magic in his third season. O’Neal led the NBA with 29.3 points per game and led the Magic to a 57-25 record. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, they bested the Chicago Bulls in six games before winning the East and being defeated by the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals.

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Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan added: “So, I didn’t really know how to play him, you know. Do I walk right up to him to make him stop? Pulling up? Blah, blah, walked right up to him and he threw me straight to the ground. And then he reached down and picked me up. I said: ‘Nah! He didn’t mean it that way. He is a nice guy.”

“I mean, if he went and stepped over me, you know, old school, I would have been a little intimidated, but his heart is too good, you know. He’s not that type. That took away some of the intimidation.”

Living up to his name, Shaq never knew how to back down. And as Kobe famously said, if there had been more discipline in his former teammate’s play, he would have been one of the most serious contenders for GOAT tag in the league.

Also read: “Who’s that again?” Kevin Durant and the NBA community decimated Colby Covington…

https://firstsportz.com/nba-he-was-the-biggest-person-i-had-ever-seen-play-michael-jordan-confesses-to-bring-intimidated-by-shaquille-oneal-after-returning-from-retirement/ “He was the greatest person I’ve ever seen play,” admits Michael Jordan, intimidated by Shaquille O’Neal after coming out of retirement

Subhankar Mondal

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