Recently retired superstar Shaquille O’neal is releasing a tell-all autobiography co-written by the esteemed Jackie MacMullan, titled “Shaq Uncut: My Story.” The book promises to be filled with insider stories on Shaq’s relationships through his illustrious playing career. He’s been on teams with Pay Riley, Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, the Boston Celtics, and of course LeBron James.
Some excerpts were release by hoopsworld.com that featured a bit of insight on Shaq’s take on LeBron, before James left the Cavaliers. Shaq didn’t feel as if full effort was given by “The King”, and that he was treated differently. The book states:
“LeBron was a huge star. He was as big as I was in 2000 in L.A. when I was dominating the league. … Our coach, Mike Brown, was a nice guy, but he had to live on edge because nobody was supposed to be confrontational with LeBron. Nobody wanted him to leave Cleveland, so he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to do.
I remember one day in a film session LeBron didn’t get back on defense after a missed shot. Mike Brown didn’t say anything about it. He went to the next clip and it was Mo Williams not getting back and Mike was saying, “Yo, Mo, we can’t have that. You’ve got to hustle a little more.” So Delonte West is sitting there and he’s seen enough and he stands up and says, “Hold up, now. You can’t be pussyfooting around like that. Everyone has to be accountable for what they do, not just some us.” Mike Brown said, “I know, Delonte. I know.” Mike knew Delonte was right. …
I’m not sure if Kobe is going to listen to Mike Brown. LeBron never really did. Here’s what we do know: Kobe will definitely be in charge.”
He went on to talk on LeBron’s performances in the playoffs.
“There’s no question in Game 5 LeBron was kind of out of it. … I always believed he could turn it on at any moment, but for some reason he didn’t. Not against the Celtics in 2010 and not against the Mavericks in 2011. It was weird. It’s one thing to be a passer, but you are supposed to be the One. I’m watching him play against Dallas, and they’re swinging the ball and they get him a perfect open look – and he’s kicking it to Mario Chalmers. Makes no sense. I told people, “It’s like Michael Jordan told me. Before you succeed, you must first fail.”
I don’t know if LeBron will respond to these at all, but knowing him and his management team they’ll probably flat out deny.
In my opinion it’s great when former athletes come out and share their stories, and in Shaq’s case, as one of the games most notorious and popular players in his days, it makes it even better.