Shaq Calls Dennis Rodman The “Worst Teammate” He Ever Played With
— 20 September 2022

Shaq Calls Dennis Rodman The “Worst Teammate” He Ever Played With

— 20 September 2022

Over the course of 19 seasons within the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal played for six different franchises. That’s a whole lot of teammates. And yet despite only logging 23 games together, Shaq didn’t hesitate for a moment to suggest two-time Defensive Player of the Year – Dennis Rodman – was the absolute worst of the bunch.

You’d be forgiven in your failure to even recall The Worm’s brief stint on the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster. It was the 1998-99 season, when they were eliminated in the conference semi-finals by the San Antonio Spurs and he was well and truly past his prime. It took place during that weird window of time between signing Shaq and hiring Phil Jackson as the team’s head coach.

RELATED: 7 Times Dennis Rodman Was The Loosest Unit On Earth

“Worst teammate? Dennis Rodman,” Shaq said during an AMA within The Big Podcast with Shaq.

“He was a great player, but he made it hard. Like when you try to corral the guys together and the people above you [are] letting this one guy do whatever he wants. So we had to be there an hour before the game.”

“He’d come in fifteen minutes before the game eating chicken and rice. While the coaches are talking, he would jump in the shower. Cold shower. Come and give you 15-20 rebounds.”

This was not the first occasion the two larger-than-life personalities have butted heads, either. A few years prior to becoming teammates, Shaq nearly incited a full-on brawl when he went up against the Chicago Bulls circa 1996. The incident eventually saw Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen drag Rodman to the ground.

RELATED: Michael Jordan Ruined The Game Of Basketball, Says Scottie Pippen

More recently, Shaq expressed his criticisms of the way Dennis Rodman acted during last year’s All-Star Weekend. Rodman wore a different jacket to the official one given to the 75th Anniversary team and awkwardly photobombed some of other the players in attendance. While this is relatively tame in terms of Dennis Rodman, Shaq went as far as to say:

“My mother doesn’t allow that. I represent Dr Lucille O’Neal. I don’t represent myself. I represent my momma and the other women in my life, Taahirah, Amirah, and Me’arah, I represent them. I’m going to be silly and do my stuff. But when it comes time to be professional, I will always be professional.”

Dennis Rodman, on the other hand, has a similar history of being critical of Shaq. In his biography Walk On The Wild Side, Rodman accused The Big Aristotle of being a sell-out:

“Some people wonder why companies would want someone as controversial as I am to pitch their products. I’ll tell you why and everyone knows it. Consumers aren’t total idiots. They can see right through someone like Shaquille O’Neal, who not only whores himself out to a million sponsors but acts like a damn fool…”

“You’ll see Shaq being interviewed on live TV and he’ll say something like he just wants to be young, have fun, and drink Pepsi. Uh, yeah. No one could possibly believe that’s what he really feels; it’s such an obvious load of crap. He might as well dress up like a Pepsi can when he plays. No one should want to sell a product that bad. It’s pathetic.”

They might be more similar than either cares to admit, but it isn’t hard to see why two massive egos were unable to share a locker room. That being said, there is one part of Rodman’s personality that even DJ Diesel himself cannot deny:

“I went to one of his parties one time… I was like, ‘What?’ I thought I was the king of the club.’”

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