Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal played for six NBA franchises over the course of his 19-year career. On Wednesday, the four-time champion finally revealed the worst teammate he ever played with.
During a segment on “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” the 15-time All-Star disclosed a little secret. “Worst teammate? Dennis Rodman,” explained O’Neal.
“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.”
Shaquille O’Neal says Dennis Rodman was the worst teammate he ever had in the NBA.
Rodman played just 23 games with the Lakers in 1999 where he averaged 2.1 PPG & 11.2 RPG in 28.6 MPG.
— NBA Buzz (@OfficialNBABuzz) September 14, 2022
“So, we had to be there an hour before the game,” continued Shaq. “He’d come in 15 minutes before the game eating chicken and rice.”
“While the coaches are talking, he would jump in the shower. Cold shower. Come and give you 15-20 rebounds.”
Shaq: “Dennis Rodman was the worst teammate I ever had”
Of course, O’Neal played with Rodman on the 1998-99 Lakers. After the Chicago Bulls released him, the wing signed with Los Angeles on February 29, 1999.
While Rodman was already on the downside of his career at this point, there’s some truth behind Shaq’s statements. One word O’Neal probably wanted to use to describe Rodman is annoying.
In 23 appearances and 11 games played off the bench, Rodman averaged 11.2 rebounds per game, but he also averaged a career-low 2.1 points per contest. Plus, he shot 34.8% from the field.
Considering Rodman was playing in his 13th season, the forward just didn’t care as much about basketball anymore. It showed in a few of his performances.
On April 16, 1999, the Lakers waived the forward.
If Kobe Bryant was alive, he’d confirm Shaq’s comments as well. In 2013, Rodman once went on a “f—k him” rant against Black Mamba. But there are always two sides to a story.
Through 911 career NBA games, Rodman averaged 7.3 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. The forward won five championships (1989, 1990, 1996–98) with the Bulls and received two All-Star selections (1990, 1992).
In addition to receiving seven NBA All-Defensive First Team selections (1989–93, 1995, 1996), he also won two Defensive Player of the Year awards (1990, 1991). Not to mention, he led the NBA in rebounds from 1992–98.
Dennis Rodman was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Shaq thinks the forward is the worst teammate he ever had, but Rodman played an important role in helping the Bulls win those championships in the 90s. Both points can be true.