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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Shaq eyeing possibility of playing in BIG3?

Shaq holds a mic

Mar 24, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal speaks during a NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Even at 52 years old, Shaquille O’Neal might not be done dunking on fools just yet.

The retired NBA legend O’Neal had fellow Miami Heat alum Mario Chalmers as a guest on the latest episode of “The Big Podcast with Shaq.” Chalmers, who now plays in the BIG3 (Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league), pitched O’Neal on the possibility of playing in the league with him and Michael Beasley (another ex-Heat player).

O’Neal admitted that he has “thought about it” but noted that he recently underwent hip surgery. But Chalmers told O’Neal that he could just camp out in the paint thanks to the halfcourt play and the team’s switch-heavy style of defense. O’Neal definitely sounded intrigued by the possibility.

Take a look at the full clip below.

The seven-footer O’Neal retired from the NBA nearly a decade-and-a-half ago in 2011. But there is precedent for players of O’Neal’s age suiting up in the BIG3. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, O’Neal’s old college teammate at LSU, is still playing in the league at 55 years old. Meanwhile, Charles Oakley, now 60 and a coach in the BIG3, was roughly O’Neal’s age when he was playing in the BIG3 around 2017.

The recent hip procedure for O’Neal (which seemed like a pretty major one) is obviously a big complicating factor. But it might not be the craziest thing in the world to see O’Neal make a one or two game cameo in the BIG3 at some point.


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