Shaquille O'Neal was known for many things, one of which was his penchant for ring-chasing. So, it wouldn't be surprising if it irked him every time he failed to win a title. Imagine what Shaq felt like when some of his former teammates who couldn't shoot the ball to save their lives developed an outside touch after parting ways with O'Neal and then went to win championships without him.
First on his list of grievances was former San Antonio Spurs sharpshooter Danny Green. They were teammates during O'Neal's lone season with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009-10. At the time, the legendary big man had a goal - "Win a Ring for the King."
Unfortunately, he failed because Glen Davis broke his hand and the lack of support around LeBron James. If Green were the two-way impact player he had become for the Spurs while he was playing alongside LeBron and Shaq, then the Cavs might have had a better chance of hoisting the championship trophy in 2010. O'Neal once harped on Green for not becoming a deadly 3-point shooter early in his career.
"Good kid, but I never saw him hit a shot in practice or a game," the Big Diesel said of Green back in 2015. "Ever. Then a couple of years later, you see this guy, and he's breaking NBA records. I used to tell him when he was in Cleveland, 'When you shoot it, just leave it.' If you look at the makes he has now, you can see [the exaggerated follow-through].”
O'Neal made that statement after Green had just helped the Spurs claim the NBA championship. The University of North Carolina product eventually got two more rings with the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers.
Shaq also expressed how "pissed" he was with Frenchman Boris Diaw for the same reason.
"I hate Danny Green,'' Shaq laughs. "I'm pissed at Boris Diaw, too, for the same reason."
Like Green, Diaw played an integral role in San Antonio's title run in the 2013-14 campaign. And like Green, Diaw failed to win a championship with O'Neal.
The Big Aristotle and 3D were teammates for part of the 2007-08 campaign. Phoenix acquired Shaq around the trade deadline to reinforce their frontcourt in anticipation of a deep playoff run. But they couldn't even make it past the first round of the postseason.
While Diaw was his usual all-around self, his outside shooting was still non-existent at the time. It was only after his Suns tenure did he become a threat from beyond the arc.
You probably didn't expect Steve Kerr to be on Shaq's list, especially since he is one of the most efficient 3-point shooters in league history. But there was a time when the 6-foot-3 guard was woeful from long range. Unfortunately for O'Neal, that was the case when he was teammates with Kerr in Orlando during the 1992-93 season. The University of Arizona product shot just 25.0% from outside as a Magic.
"This dude couldn't hit a shot," Shaq said of Kerr. "He'd be wide-open and he couldn't hit anything. And then we get rid of him and he goes to Chicago and he just emerges as a big star."
Kerr wasn't exactly a star in Chicago, but he was a star in his role. He even hit the most important shot of the 1997 NBA Finals - a title-clinching game-winner from 3-point land.
And O'Neal's reaction to the shot?
Of course, the 15-time NBA All-Star couldn't stay mad at the former Bulls sharpshooter for too long. They were together again in Phoenix, where Kerr had served as general manager during O'Neal's time with the Suns.