Shaq reveals worst teammate he ever had in NBA
Shaquille O’Neal clashed with Penny Hardaway, beefed with Steve Nash over a TV show (yes, really), and even came to physical blows with Kobe Bryant. But there is one specific teammate who was even worse than all those guys for O’Neal.
The retired Hall of Famer O’Neal was asked on a recent episode of his “The Big Podcast with Shaq” who the worst teammate of his NBA career was.
“Worst teammate? Dennis Rodman,” replied O’Neal, per Sports Illustrated. “He was a great player, but he made it hard. Like when you try to corral the guys together and the people above you [are] letting this one guy do whatever he wants.
“So we had to be there an hour before the game,” O’Neal continued. “He would come in 15 minutes before the game eating chicken and rice. While the coaches are talking, he would jump in the shower. Cold shower. Come and give you 15, 20 rebounds.”
Rodman, one of the most enigmatic players in NBA history, signed with the O’Neal-led Lakers in the middle of the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season. It was essentially a publicity stunt orchestrated by Lakers owner Jerry Buss despite strong opposition from many in the organization, including GM Jerry West.
The gimmick ultimately ended up exactly how everyone thought it would. Rodman blazed a path of destruction in L.A. and lasted under two months with the Lakers (23 total games) before being released. This was also when Kurt Rambis was still coaching the Lakers (before Phil Jackson took over in 1999), so the team never stood a chance of handling the Rodman tornado.
After being waived by the Lakers, Rodman played one more NBA season on the Dallas Mavericks in 1999-2000. Based on how that stint went as well, it is easy to see where O’Neal is coming from with his comments here.