Skip to main content

Shaquille O'Neal shares he was almost 400 pounds during the last championship with the Lakers

It was only when Shaq arrived in Miami that Pat Riley forced him to lose some weight
Shaquille O'Neal during his time with the Lakers

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal was one of the most dominant NBA players and a genuine physical specimen we'll probably never see ever again. He was just too big and too strong for most NBA players throughout his career with his 7'1" and well over 300 pounds frame. 

"Last championship, 395"

If you watched Shaq for the majority of his career, you could've seen his body transformed throughout the years. When the Orlando Magic drafted him, he was unbelievably slim, and somewhat skinny compared to the later stages of his career. On top of that, he was extremely athletic and mobile, but his skill set was still raw.

Shaq exploded in weight after joining the Los Angeles Lakers, which almost made him unstoppable; if you were like me, you always wondered how much he weighed because he made other centers look like little children at times. However, in a recent episode on the show NBA on TNT, Shaq said how during the Lakers' last championship during the 01-02 season, he played at 395 lbs.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

First championship 345. Second championship 365 and the last championship 395. I was big in my last year.

Shaquille O'Neal, via NBA on TNT

Pat Riley regime

Shaq looked unbelievably big compared to pretty much any player in the league back then, especially during his last two seasons with the Lakers. But, surprisingly enough, after he joined Miami Heat in 2004, he got in shape fast because Pat Riley doesn't tolerate overweight players who are physically not ready to perform at a high level.

I get down to Miami, and Pat was not having that. So the first year there I go down to 315 because my body fat had to be around 12. And when I won with Wade, I was about 325.

Shaquille O'Neal, via NBA on TNT

It's astonishing Shaq played at almost 400 pounds during the 2001/02 season because that is a lot of tool on your body, especially on the knees. On top of that, Shaq was constantly getting hammered in the paint because of the only ways players were able to slow him down. Yet, despite all that, he averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds per game in the regular season while bumping those numbers up in the playoffs when he was literally unstoppable for the opposing big men.

It's also remarkable his body was able to handle all that weight with all the additional stress of playing the way he played and the opposing players, but that is why he is considered one of the most dominant players of all time.

JJ Redick & Phoenix Suns

JJ Redick shares what makes the Phoenix Suns an even better team and a legitimate contender this season- “I think it makes them a title contender”

Redick notes Bridges' improvements this season before saying that Bridges may be the X factor that could help the Suns emerge as title contenders this season

Charles Barkley & Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Despite not knowing his name, Charles Barkley offers a stern warning to the public if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t an All-Star starter this season

Barkley said SGA should be an All-Star starter, but couldn't manage to say his name correctly, and hilariously referred to him as Shai Alexander Gilchrist in the process

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert

"You always calling for a ball screen, f*ck all that" - Iman Shumpert discusses his on-court battles with Kevin Durant

Iman Shumpert reveals Kevin Durant was the hardest player he had to guard in his career

Larry Bird

"It makes me sick to my stomach" - Larry Bird on tanking in the NBA

If Larry Legend knew his team was tanking, he would've left it outright.

Chicago Bulls forward Toni Kukoc

"I knew when I'd come here I am going to be this rookie kid that carries bags" - Toni Kukoc on how European players felt criticized coming into the NBA

His European basketball legacy may have not mattered in the NBA, but for Kukoc, he was still the "Croatian Sensation"

New Jersey Nets forward Kenyon Martin

“Everything after that was just basketball” — Kenyon Martin revealed the best moment of his career

For K-Mart, being drafted in the NBA was monumental but not a dream-come-true.