Laker fans got to enjoy the "best 1-2 punch" in the league win three championships together. In their time together, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were lethal.
O'Neal himself is a Hall of Famer with a list of accolades. He was a 15 time All-Star, won four championships, was All-NBA 14 times, three time All-Defensive team, three Finals MVP's, two scoring titles, and one league MVP. In his MVP season he averaged 29.7 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 3.8 assists per game, and 3 blocks per game. Talk about a monster season. That season he also took home the Finals MVP en route to his first championship.
As Laker and NBA fans all know, his one flaw in his game was free-throw shooting. For his career, Shaq-Diesel shot .527 from the charity stripe. Per Bleacher Report, O'Neal had this to say about shooting from the line.
“Me having a beautiful wife and great family and friends around me, all the money I’ve got, all the things that I’ve got, a Ferrari that I just ripped the top off of and turned into a convertible, the rings I got, the two mansions on the water, a master’s in criminal justice, I’m a cop, plus I look good. So to me, shooting 40 percent at the foul line is just God’s way of saying that nobody’s perfect. If I shot 90 percent from the line, it just wouldn’t be right.”
O'Neal always had a way with words. Showing off one's accomplishments and then paraphrasing the cliche "God doesn't gift with both hands" to turn one's flaws into a joke is peak Shaq.
O'Neal has famously been mum on the topic at times. In the 2002-2003 season he shot %62 from the line, and then the year after it dropped to %49. When asked he could visit a sports psychologist, theorizing it could be the yips or something psychological, O'Neal said, "No. I don't believe in that."
One thing is for sure. O'Neal is an NBA legend and icon whose stature and popularity has barely receded into his retirement days.