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Shaquille O’Neal empathizes with struggling Tom Brady and reflects on how divorce impacted his performance in the 2006 NBA Finals

Shaquille O'Neal relates to Tom Brady's divorce, citing his own experience that caused to him to almost miss out on his fourth NBA championship
Tom Brady & Shaquille O'Neal

Tom Brady & Shaquille O'Neal

Tom Brady is considered by many the greatest NFL player of all time. However, he is going through one of the roughest seasons of his career, resulting in pundits pondering if the 45-year-old should have retired already. NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal wrote off these concerns and opined why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is struggling.

"During the 2006 Finals, I was going through a divorce, and I couldn't do anything right," O'Neal answered when asked about his friend. "That's when I had to give everything to D-Wade (Dwyane Wade), like, 'I don't have it.' Tom's going through a tough time right now. It has nothing to do with his age or football, but when you're dealing with that real-life stuff, it takes a lot. ... When you get divorced, the first thing Mama would do is take the babies away. That's the first thing. When you come home to the big house that you built, and it's just you by yourself, the D starts to kick in. So, I know he's going through a lot. I don't know his situation, but I wish him well, and hopefully, they can reconcile and get back together."

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High-profile divorce

Brady is in the midst of a high-profile split from supermodel Gisele Bundchen. The divorce has just been finalized recently, with the future Hall of Famer releasing a heartbreaking message.

NFL fans are likely surprised by the news because earlier this year, Brady announced his retirement from the sport, citing his desire to give more time and energy to "other things" that required his attention. Of course, people assumed those things were his family.

However, in a surprising turn of events, the seven-time MVP said he would be making a return to the field. His retirement lasted for just 40 days. 

Only a few people probably thought this was how Brady's 23rd NFL season would turn out. His team has a 3-5 record and is in danger of missing out on the postseason. But as O'Neal pointed out, there is a personal reason behind the superstar quarterback's recent struggles.

Shaq knows

His own divorce was an unfortunate experience for O'Neal. And the timing of the proceedings couldn't have come at a worse time because he was in the midst of a championship run while playing for the Miami Heat. In the 2006 Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, the legendary big man averaged just 13.7 points per game.

Fortunately, though, O'Neal had Wade carry him to the title. The elite shooting guard recorded 34.7 points per contest in the series. Thanks to Wade's heroics, O'Neal got his fourth and final ring.

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