NBA Hall of Famer and four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal played alongside many teammates in his 19-year career.
Spending time with six different organizations, O’Neal undoubtedly had teammates who got under his skin. His disagreements with Kobe Bryant are legendary, eventually resulting in the Lakers trading O’Neal to the Miami Heat in 2004.
But there’s one NBA legend who Shaq dubs his “worst teammate.”
“Worst teammate? Dennis Rodman,” O’Neal said on “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. And rightfully so.
“So, we had to be there an hour before the game. He’d come in fifteen minutes before the game, eating chicken and rice; big-a– plate of chicken and rice. While the coaches are talking, he would jump in the shower, cold shower, come and give you 15 to 20 rebounds.”
The two Hall of Famers spent just one year as teammates, the 1998-1999 season, but apparently that was enough for The Big Diesel.
The admission isn’t surprising as Rodman was well known as a character throughout his legendary career. Widely considered the greatest rebounder the NBA has ever seen, Rodman was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, a five-time NBA champion, and was recently selected as a member of the NBA’s 75th anniversary team.
However, Rodman was known to be a difficult teammate, famously taking a mid-season trip in 1998 to Las Vegas where Michael Jordan was forced to travel in order to bring him back to the Chicago Bulls.
By the time Rodman and O’Neal were teammates, Rodman was at the tail end of his career, appearing in just 23 games for the Lakers during the 1998-1999 NBA season. Rodman would go on to play one more year in the league, latching on with the Dallas Mavericks for 12 games in his final year.