Rookie hazing is a popular term in the NBA, and not a pleasant for all the newcomers in the league. There were numerous fascinated stories in NBA history of all the chores players had to do for the veteran guys on the team. On the recent NBA on TNT show, the crew talked about some of their memorable moments when older players gave them various strange assignments.
Shaquille O’Neal said he was never hazed because he immediately asserted himself as a franchise player and not a regular rookie when he got drafted by Orlando Magic. He recalls Scott Skiles trying to get him to pick up his bags on which Shaq didn’t flinch for a single second and immediately laid out the new hierarchy in the team.
Shaq, on the other hand, was pretty brutal when hazing rookies playing for all the teams he played for and knowing Shaq, he was probably very imaginative when coming up with all the things they need to do for him. However, Shaq said two players were immediately tough from the get-go and, in the same manner as he once did, quickly let everyone know they are not going to take it.
What is not surprising is that of those players is Kobe Bryant, who was drafted by the Lakers the same year when Shaq signed a long-term deal with the team in purple and gold. Kobe even got into a fight with Shaq during his rookie year from which moment on Shaq knew not to mess with him anymore. The other player, surprisingly enough, is current NBA player Goran Dragic with whom Shaq played with during his stint with the Phoenix Suns.
There’s only 2 players to ever withstand my hazing and I had to release what I was doing to them because of their toughness, Kobe Bryant and Goran Dragic.”Shaquille O’Neal, via NBA on TNT
Although it might seem pretty random, Shaq mentioned Dragic’s name alongside Kobe in this manner, but if you look back at his career, Dragic was always known as a gritty player. He had to fight his away not just into the NBA, but he also has an excellent career with one All-Star appearance. His successful 12-year-long career would be impossible if he doesn’t have toughness and the drive to be great at what he does, which we witnessed so far in the playoffs in which Dragic is one of the best players on a team aiming for an NBA championship.