Shaquille O’Neal nicknamed himself MDE, for “Most Dominant Ever,” and the Hall-of-Fame center has also played with a Who’s Who of swingmen, including two of the NBA’s All-Time great, iconic shooting guards and even arguably the league’s best clutch shooter for a role player, Robert Horry.
Recently, O’Neal appeared on the “DangerTalk Podcast” with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, during which he was asked to name his own personal “Mount Rushmore” of teammates.
O’Neal, not known to shy away from controversy, made his selections in rapid-fire succession, rattling off a list of two of the most talented players of all-time, as well as a surprise nomination: “Big Shot Bob,” aka Robert Horry.
While O’Neal’s selections were certainly worthy of the “Mount Rushmore” treatment based on their accomplishments, talents and accolades, the “Big Aristotle” is now making headlines over the one iconic, all-time great player he decided to leave off the list.
Shaq Doesn’t Add LeBron for One Reason
During the podcast segment, which can be seen below, O’Neal names off his four accompanying players: Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and Horry.
The selections were surprising to Wilson and his co-host, who responded with the question on everyone’s minds: “What about Lebron…?”
Shaq rationalized his surprising pick of Horry over LeBron by saying that he didn’t play with LeBron long enough.
Other notable teammate snubs include Steve Nash, the two-time MVP who O’Neal once famously derided as not being worthy of his two MVP awards, considering that he and Bryant only won one each during their iconic careers.
O’Neal averaged 12 points and 6.7 rebounds during his second-to-last season in the NBA, spent with the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2009-2010 season.
Shaq also averaged 1.2 blocks over 23.4 minutes during the season, while James turned in one of his best seasons with averages of 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 8.6 assists, 1.6 steals and a block per night.
O’Neal played for the Lakers from 1996 through 2004, all seasons shared with Bryant, who averaged 7.6 points in his rookie campaign before more than doubling that total the following year.
Horry of course hit the game-winning shot in Game 4 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals, preventing Chris Webber’s Sacramento Kings from taking a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Shaq also took Wade under his wing, helping to power the third year shooting guard and the Miami Heat to the franchise’s first-ever title in 2006.
The interview clip of Shaq and Wilson can be seen below.
.@SHAQ’s Mount Rushmore of former teammates:
⭐️ Robert Horry
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 9, 2020
Thumbnail photo via ClutchPoints