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Shaquille O'Neal Discusses His Trade To Miami Heat in 2004

The trade played a role in the Heat winning their first NBA championship

On a recent episode of "Legacy: The True Story of the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O'Neal talked about being trade to the Miami Heat in 2004. 

Former Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak revealed the Lakers began talks of trading O'Neal that spring. 

“We tried to extend Shaquille, and we didn’t get to the number he wanted to get to,” Kupchak said during the episode.

Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss added, “He [O’Neal] made it clear to us during his negotiation that unless we pay him the maximum amount of money for the maximum term, he wanted to be traded.”

Per O’Neal, at the time, Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss called him to tell him Miami was interested in his services.

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“Mr. Buss called me and said, `Hey man, I love you. Understand that you don’t want to take less money; Miami is interested,"' O'Neal said. "Ok, I’ll go to Miami. Thank you, sir, cool with me …Business of basketball!”

Jerry Buss was later asked if he regrets trading O’Neal.

“None! That’s a franchise decision done, in my opinion, for the best health of the franchise," Jerry Buss said. "I think he took it more personally than it was intended."

When O'Neal arrived in Miami, he said, “Remember this I’m going to bring a championship to Miami, I promise.”

Under the guidance of Heat coach Pat Riley, O'Neal delivered on that promise. He teamed with Dwyane Wade to lead the Heat past the Dallas Mavericks in 2006, winning the franchise's first championship.