I’mma Make You Shut Up” – When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Bullied Shaq Into Silence Despite Playing Well

The NBA is one of the toughest leagues in the world. Apart from incorporating the best players from around the world, the NBA has a lot of physical and mental challenges. One of the growing whispers in the NBA is about rings. Players who win are respected more than athletes who haven’t won any. And recently the NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal gave his take on the same. His answer excited all balling fans as he delved into the past. Let’s dive into what he said.

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Shaq was present in a podcast with former Orlando Magic shooting guard JJ Reddick when he was asked if the NBA was as hostile to players without any championship rings in the past as it is right now. And Shaq in order to support his answer recollected an incident with the NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Shaq recollects a humiliating incident involving Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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Shaq was invited to ‘The Old Man and the Three’ podcast where he discussed a lot of things including the NBA championship ring debate. He in fact stated that the ring debate is a normal thing and used to happen during his time too, recollecting an incident with Abdul-Jabbar. The answer caught the attention of all fans and the interview was watched by a lot of people.


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“Kareem and Wilt. I’m in a restaurant one time Wilts right there. He didn’t say nothing to me. So when I first got to LA, I was putting up big numbers. But we getting swept. So they ask Kareem said man ‘Shaqs, you’ll be a laker of great boom boom boom,’ and Kareem stops the guy and says ‘is he really that great? They get swept all the time and they haven’t won a championship’,” Shaq remarked. 

Notably, Shaq was drafted in 1992 by the Orlando Magic. For the initial 8 years of his career, he didn’t have a championship ring. In the meantime, he also transferred to the Los Angeles Lakers. And then his career around 2000 took a sudden turn when he won three consecutive NBA Finals. He was the Finals MVP in all those years. Then once again in 2006, he won his fourth NBA Championship with the Miami Heat.


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“Now I want to go off but that’s Kap, he has G14 classification. So I got to suck it up and take it like a man and say but… but me being the type person I am, I’m going to make you shut up, Kareem. Can’t say nothing to you now cuz you’re absolutely correct. Your Shaqs putting up good numbers, but if his team got swept six times is he really a great player? I got to eat that so now I got to now I got to turn up. And then you know you win one oh! Can’t win another one. Then you win two. Oh! You… You know the other Lakers didn’t. Three people then… and then you win another one. And then you start to get the respect but you know… So the stuff that I’m doing is the stuff that was done to me but if you’re the right type of person with the right type of mentality it should be used as motivation,” while reminiscing his golden time in the NBA, Shaq continued.

Meanwhile, Abdul-Jabbar was a 6x NBA Champion. He too played for the Lakers but alas as per reports Shaq and Kareem never had a close relationship. As per Sports Illustrated, this was the reason that encouraged Shaq to prove his mettle during his time at the Lakers. When taking a look at real-life success both Shaq’s and Jabbar’s names have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Furthermore, Shaq has followed the same tradition and ventured into the Championship debate for current players.

Shaq has the same standards for everyone, including himself

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Shaq in ‘The Big Podcast with Shaq’ had previously stated that “She’s (Angel Reese) probably the greatest athlete to ever come out of LSU sports.” A major reason for his opinion was that Reese had won the NCAA Championship ring. Therefore, what Shaq has said is something he truly believes in since he too is from LSU but gave more weightage to Reese in the NCAA.

Shaq’s story about Jabbar was truly captivating and it must have taken a lot of fans to the past. Meanwhile, as the championship ring parley continues to grow, we can only hope that our favorite ones win it too, so that they are classified and respected as legends.


Written by:

Ritvan Pande


One take at a time

Ritvan Pande is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He covers Perspectives and Classics as the expert in the longform coverage. Inspired by the fabled Chicago Bulls trio of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, Ritvan captures the staggering court encounters in the same competitive style.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph

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