Skip to main content

Rookie Shaq talks about his toughest match-ups and trash-talk

shaq-ernie

The year is 1992; big men still dominate the league, and naturally, a young center named Shaquille O'Neal is about to get selected as the no. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Not to say I wouldn't pick him first today, but with the league evolving to small-ball, fast pace, and everyone becoming a 3-point specialist — who knows what would happen. Anyway, back to young Shaq.

Diesel came in with big expectations, and it's safe to say he lived up to them immediately, as well as throughout his entire Hall-of-Fame career. He took the league by storm during his rookie campaign year by averaging 23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, and this was more than enough for people to notice and start making gameplans specifically for the young fella.

Today, he's an invaluable member of Inside the NBA alongside Ernie Johnson Jr., Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith. Back then, he was a 20-year-old phenom playing basketball, about to get interviewed by an already seasoned NBA host Ernie Johnson.

EJ talked about matchups and asked about Shaq's nemesis;

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Who is the toughest guy on you, defends you the toughest, and is the toughest for you to defend?

Ernie Johnson

Probably one of the two best centers in the league, that's Hakeem and Patrick. I haven't played with David yet.

Shaquille O'Neal

Ernie briefly touched upon trash talk and asked Shaq, who was the worst trash-talker he went head to head with.

The guy from New York, what's the name, Oakley.

Shaquille O'Neal

Just a great moment seeing Ernie interview the young buck, who knew that two decades later, they would co-host the best show on television.

Allen Iverson created his own path to the NBA that many players after him have looked to follow

'I'm a Sixer for life' - Allen Iverson doesn't understand why the Sixers won't consider giving him a role in the organization

Allen Iverson wanted to help the Sixers but is wondering why nothing has materialized yet to this day.

Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar

“It's not a hard shot to learn” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explains why no player in NBA history has perfected the skyhook

It might not have been passed to one generation after another, but that proves that only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar perfected one of the most iconic signature moves in the history of the sport.

North Carolina Tar Heels former guard Michael Jordan and former head coach Dean Smith

“It was Coach [Dean] Smith's call” — Michael Jordan opens up about what convinced him to declare for the NBA Draft

Michael Jordan's college coach Dean Smith was the one who pushed him to forego his senior year in North Carolina.

Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac

“He enjoyed smoking cigarettes more than shooting free throws in practice” — Vlade Divac was called out for his smoking addiction during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers

While Divac's smoking addiction might've earned him a spot on the Lakers roster, it also certainly rubbed his teammates the wrong way.

Washington Wizards guard Michael Jordan

“One of the bad decisions I made was to go back and play” — Michael Jordan on why he regrets coming back to play for the Washington Wizards

MJ thought he was ”being innovative in my job by going down and evaluating the talent firsthand.” It was the exact opposite.

Matt Barnes on the Ime Udoka suspension - “This situation in Boston is deep, messy and 100 times uglier than any of us thought”

Matt Barnes on the Ime Udoka suspension -“This situation in Boston is deep, messy and 100 times uglier than any of us thought”

Barnes said he got the full scoop of the Udoka situation. and says that the story is deeper and uglier than he was made to believe, although he wouldn't divulge the details of the story