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.

Ron Harper

"I want the SOB out of here" — How the NBA's drug problem got Ron Harper traded out of Cleveland

Lenny Wilkens believes that if the Cleveland Cavaliers had kept Ron Harper, then they would've ousted Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls

Bronny James

“He’s gonna be a whole different beast” - Gilbert Arenas praises Bronny James Jr. after a request to scout him by Lebron James

Arenas recalls when LeBron told him to scout his son Bronny and give him an honest opinion on whether he has any potential to be a legitimate basketball player

LeBron James & John Salley

John Salley praises LeBron James for calling out the media’s coverage of the Jerry Jones picture - “Everybody wanting to call LeBron a sellout; no, you can’t”

Salley believes that James can no longer be labeled a sellout after he stepped up and voiced his concerns on an issue that not many people are paying attention to

Kristaps Porzingis & Luka Doncic

Kristaps Porzingis opens up about his failed partnership with Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks - “I just wasn’t the right guy”

When asked about his failed stint with the Mavs, Porzingis admitted that he and Luka Doncic were not a strong fit on the court together

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

"I'm here and I plan to finish my career here" — when Patrick Ewing left the New York Knicks for the Seattle Supersonics

Patrick Ewing hinted at how things played out with him and the Knicks that prompted him to leave the team in 2000.

michael-jordan-luc-longley-min (1)

Luc Longley on Michael Jordan’s only condition to end the Chicago Bulls’ practice sessions

Luc Longley gave us a peek into Michael Jordan's obsession with competition and winning.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas

“You're not given a real chance” — Isaiah Thomas breaks down 10-day contracts in the NBA

Former Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas opens up about the reality of 10-day contracts in the NBA.

Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker

Almost lifers — stars who played their entire career for a single NBA franchise until their last season

As it turns out, all five guys probably would've been better off just retiring as icons of their original teams.