Shaquille O’Neal was one of the most dominant forces the sport of basketball has ever seen. After leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a three-peat in the early 2000s, he was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004. In his second season in Miami, he added another championship to his resume.
A huge part of O’Neal’s success in Miami was his co-star, Dwyane Wade.
Although their time together was limited, Wade and O’Neal had a great partnership in Miami. It was very different from O’Neal’s time in Los Angeles where the NBA superstar center often clashed with Kobe Bryant.
Shaq Speaks Out
During an appearance on Showtime’s All The Smoke podcast, O’Neal mentioned that his decision to let Wade take over the team played a huge role in making the partnership work.
“When I got to D-Wade, I was like, ‘I know you heard all the stories, it’s your team.‘ What I should have did in L.A… You’re the CEO, I’ll be the consultant. When the Lakers were talking about trading me, I was like, ‘I know where I wanna go.’ I wanna go back to Florida….. and I want to go play with him (Wade).
“As soon as I got there I said, ‘look man, you have this, you have heard that, me and you gonna have no problem, you’re the man. Take as many shots as you want. I have to get 28, 10 to make everybody feel good, make myself feel good. We never had problems.”
O’Neal did mention there was one little fight during the 2006 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat were trailing 0-2 in the series with odds stacked against them. O’Neal was being doubled and sometimes triple-teamed in the post. The big man said he told his teammates to stop waiting on him and just play. Behind O’Neal’s leadership, his teammates responded and Wade ended up having one of the greatest finals performances in league history to lead the Heat to their first championship.
In the end, O’Neal’s decision to let Wade take over the team ended up being a great one. As a result, the pair won their first championship together in Miami.
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