“I don’t know what God looks likes…” Shaquille O’Neal has highest praise for Michael Jordan’s AURA

Fair to say, Michael Jordan left quite an impression on rookie Shaq.

“I don’t know what God looks likes…” Shaquille O’Neal has highest praise for Michael Jordan’s AURA

Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan

Shaquille O’Neal on a recent episode of his podcast, “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” alongside guest JJ Redick told a story of how he felt when he first shared a court with NBA legend Michael Jordan during his rookie season with the Orlando Magic. He described the feeling as seeing God himself in action, much to the surprise of Redick. 


Everyone who has faced off against Michael Jordan, especially for the first time, always has one story in common. And it was not different from Shaquille O’Neal, who grew up idolizing His Airness. 

I don't know what God looks like; it's like seeing God. The stuff that he did on TV, and then you see it in real life, he's like, 'Oh my God, it's really real. He came at me like one of the first plays of the game, and in my mind, I'm not getting dunked on, so I tried to meet him early, slid by me, I bumped him, and he still did that, and he laid it up off the backboard, and the crowd went crazy.
Shaquille O’Neal said on The Big Podcast with Shaq

O’Neal was a highly-rated rookie fresh out of LSU and drafted number one. While still adjusting to life as a pro basketball player, he faced MJ for the first time. The encounter, however, did leave a lasting impression on him as he now joins the long list of former players who have a story about the GOAT himself adding to the aura around Jordan. 

Furthermore, it’s a tough sell arguing against the greatness of MJ as his achievements speak volumes for him with six NBA rings, six Finals MVPs, 10 scoring titles, and an unblemished Finals record (6-0). In addition to that, 14 NBA All-Star team selections and five regular-season NBA MVP awards just elevate his stature more. 

Shaquille O’Neal on not knowing how to dunk early 

Big Shaq, renowned for his dunking prowess in basketball, revealed a surprising anecdote during a conversation with JJ Redick on his podcast. Despite standing at 6 feet and 11 inches tall, Shaq confessed that he couldn’t dunk until he reached the age of 17.

I wasn't dunking until 17, 6'11''. You weren't dunking at 13. Stop it...My junior year, the whole season, I could never dunk. I tried to dunk one time, missed, was embarrassed, and was scared.
Shaquille O’Neal said

Furthermore, Redick, like other viewers, was left stunned by his admission, as he hilariously suggested O’Neal might have needed medical care if he couldn’t dunk at his size. However, the four-time NBA champion explained that it was purely a mental struggle and credited his disciplinary step-father, Phillip Harrison, for helping him overcome that particular hurdle. 

Despite his early struggles, Shaq later became a dominant presence in the league, terrorizing defenses all through his career. His story serves as an inspiration to those who shouldn’t give up in the face of adversity as he did early on in his budding career. 

In case you missed it: