Choking an Old Man”: 7ft Shaquille O’Neal Restrained Ex-Teammate During Locker Room Outburst, Claims NBA Veteran

Shaquille O’Neal‘s last year in Los Angeles was eventful. From his feud with Kobe Bryant escalating to the team’s shocking loss in the NBA Finals, there were many moments that O’Neal would probably like to forget. However, there was one bizarre incident that Shaq wouldn’t have expected to witness. Former Memphis Grizzlies guard Bonzi Wells recently revealed the most unexpected physical altercation he ever saw during his playing days involved NBA legend Gary Payton and then-Grizzlies coach Hubie Brown. O’Neal, Bryant, and other Lakers players and staff had to stop Payton from choking Brown in the parking lot!

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While the Los Angeles Lakers ended up winning the game against the Grizzlies 103-95 in April 2004, there was a verbal altercation between Payton and Brown during the game. After the game, Payton, known as one of the NBA’s best trash-talkers, then approached the veteran coach on their bus. The 9x All-Star grabbed Brown, who was around 71 years old at the time, by the throat, bringing his face close while constantly swearing.

“He (Payton) grabbed him (Brown) by his throat man and started choking him man and we all like, ‘No G, no!’ We all grabbing him like, ‘G man you tripping.’ Shaq came over there and grabbed him like, ‘Man you choking an old man like that man stop it’…we kind of finally broke it up man I was like, ‘G you crazy,’” Wells said in a conversation on the Underdog podcast.

The presence of other players like Shaq, Kobe, and the rest helped restrain Payton. While they won that night, it wasn’t to be for them that year. LA’s superteam of O’Neal, Bryant, Payton, and Karl Malone couldn’t win the championship as they lost to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. And this also proved to be Shaq’s last season in a Lakers jersey. He was traded to the Miami Heat in the offseason.

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