Shaquille O'Neal sometimes regrets leaving the Orlando Magic early in his career to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, he said Friday.
After spending his first four NBA seasons with the Orlando Magic, Shaquille O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996. On Friday, O'Neal said he sometimes regrets leaving Orlando.
"Do I regret it? I never fully answer it. I regret it sometimes," O'Neal said as he was inducted into the franchise's Hall of Fame, according to the Associated Press. "Is this where I started and should have stayed? I actually wish they made it a law that whoever drafts you, you gotta stay there your whole career."
O'Neal said it was "a business decision."
[daily_cut.NBA]O'Neal was taken with the first pick in the 1992 draft and joined the Magic for their fourth NBA season. He led the franchise to its first playoff appearance in 1994 and to the NBA Finals the following year.
"That's why I kind of regret it, because we had a young, fabulous team," O'Neal said. "We really did. And it's a shame that we got torn apart. But I think about that all the time. I try not to live my life now on 'ifs' or 'would've, should've,' but do I regret leaving here in '96, yes I do."
In Los Angeles, O'Neal won three consecutive NBA championships and won another with the Miami Heat in 2006.
- Dan Gartland