Skip to main content

Shaquille O'Neal's three career regrets


Shaquille O'Neal is one of the most successful players ever. In saying that, I am taking into account his success after retiring from basketball. He makes more money in a year today than he did as a player.

But, there is always a sense of underachievement with Shaq. A lot of people feel he could've won more if he was more committed to basketball. Shaq was always interested in movies, music, and business ventures. He is a fun-loving guy and that perception of a joker always made it seem he isn't giving his 100%.

Rest is at the forefront of sports science today and NBA teams are investing millions in learning about sleep patterns and mileage they put on players' bodies. It seems Shaq was a visionary before his time. As he described it, due to his size everyone would, "touch me up" when playing against him. So he felt there is no point to get hit two times, in practice and in games. That is why he wouldn't work hard in practice but would give it all in the games.

Measuring players' success is a two-way formula - we take the measurables (rings, wins, points scored, etc.) and add the intangibles (character, winning drive, clutch, etc.). When it comes to championships, Shaq said he only wanted one. All others were a bonus.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Only regret I have right now, its two regrets. Actually, three. Missing five thousand free-throws. Not passing up Wilt Chamberlain in points. Not being higher on the scoring list. That's it, those are the only regrets.

Shaquille O'Neal, In Depth with Graham Bensinger

When you think about it, these are all very connected. It comes down to the all-time scoring list. Shaq finished his career at 28.596 which puts him in 10th place all time. Wilt is at 7th with 31.419. So he is 2.823 points shy of Wilt - if he had made a bit over 50% of those missed free throws, he would've passed Wilt.

This comes down to being the most dominant player ever, and Shaq obviously feels Wilt is his only rival in that category. That is the title he wants to have the most, here is his reasoning behind it.

That was my niche. I wasn't going for the greatest player niche. I wasn't going for the best. I wasn't going for that 'cause those words are just thrown out. Words like "most dominant", you gotta earn that. Wilt averaged 50 in one season. He did, he averaged 50 in one season. So, when I got really close to him I think I had to average 10-12 points my last year in Boston to pass him up. So when I had my career-ending injury I was like "damn, not gonna pass Wilt"

Shaquille O'Neal, In Depth with Graham Bensinger

We all talk about the rings he could've won if he stayed in Los Angeles with Kobe. Interesting to learn when it comes to rings, Shaq was happy with one and what he was chasing was the most dominant title. Goes to show their motivation isn't always what we assume.

WWE star Logan Paul and Dwight Howard

WWE legend Triple H’s dare to Dwight Howard: “Be like Logan Paul, Bad Bunny, Tyson Fury”

Dwight Howard doesn't just want to be a run-of-the-mill professional wrestler.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett

"I’m still a Timberwolf until I die, as I am a Celtic" - Kevin Garnett addresses rift with Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett is not in good terms with the Minnesota Timberwolves but his love for the city has never changed.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love

"It's a way to really challenge yourself" — Kevin Love talks about the hardest workout he's ever done

Kevin Love revealed the hardest workout he has ever done and it doesn't have anything to do with basketball.

BYU Cougars guard Jimmer Fredette shoots over San Diego State Aztecs forward Kawhi Leonard

“He said some things” — Jimmer Fredette on Kawhi Leonard's trash talk

En route to a 72-54 win, Kawhi Leonard approached Jimmer Fredette and talked smack to him.


Boban Marjanovic doesn't think LeBron James is "the strongest player" in the league: 'It depends on what you measure'

Boban Marjanovic thinks it's impossible to hail LeBron James or anybody as the strongest player in the league there are a lot of factors to consider in measuring strength.

Yao Ming & Steve Francis

"It was me who was bothered by it" - Steve Francis on Yao Ming's transition to NBA

Steve Francis thought Yao Ming will succumb to the pressures of being an NBA star, but he was proven wrong.


The Sixers reportedly almost drafted Kobe Bryant to team up with Allen Iverson in 1996

Drafting Kobe and AI in the same draft would've been the best draft a team had in NBA history.


"Leaders don't do that" — When Kobe Bryant shared why Shaquille O'Neal is not the leader of the Lakers

Kobe Bryant said Shaquille O'Neal didn't even reach out to him amid his legal battle.