Shaquille O’Neal Sounds Off on his Trade to the Miami Heat

Shaquille O'Neal

Getty Former teammate Alonzo Mourning speaks during a ceremony to honor Shaquille O'Neal as he has his number retired during a game between the Miami Heat

Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat from the Los Angeles Lakers after his rocky and well-publicized beef he had with his teammate Kobe Bryant. As it was clear the two would not work it out Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004. The big man joined the Heat and promised to bring a championship to South Beach upon his arrival. “Remember this I’m going to bring a championship to Miami, I promise,” O’Neal said. 

Dwyane Wade recently commented about what the addition of O’Neal brought to that Heat team. 

“When Shaq came, it really inserted that level of confidence in me that I could be one of the greats. I mean, I needed somebody that was a great to be able to show me what it’s like to be great. When Shaq says, you’re going to be one of the greats, I don’t need no more juice than that,” Wade said. 

Shaq on his Trade to Miami Heat

The Hall of Fame center has recently been talking more about his arrival to Miami, including a story about his one-time beef with fellow Heat big man, Alonzo Mourning and how the two squashed it when they became teammates. However, even more recent, O’Neal spoke out about the trade in a recent episode of ‘Legacy: The True Story of the Los Angeles Lakers.’ 

Shaq spoke specifically about the time the former owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry Buss, called him to tell him that he had been traded from the organization in which he won three championships with. 

“Mr. Buss called me and said, `Hey man, I love you. Understand that you don’t want to take less money; Miami is interested,” ‘O’Neal said. “Ok, I’ll go to Miami. Thank you, sir, cool with me …Business of basketball!”

The episode even featured comments from the former Lakers owner Buss and if he had any regrets about trading O’Neal to the Heat. 

“None! That’s a franchise decision done, in my opinion, for the best health of the franchise,” Jerry Buss said. “I think he took it more personally than it was intended.”

The Franchise Decision in Trading Shaq

In the episode was former Lakers general manager and GM at the time of the trade to Miami, who gave a reason as to why they had to trade the most dominant player in the NBA. “We tried to extend Shaquille, and we didn’t get to the number he wanted to get to,” Kupchak said during the episode.

Current Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss added to the reasoning by saying, “He [O’Neal] made it clear to us during his negotiation that unless we pay him the maximum amount of money for the maximum term, he wanted to be traded.”

Shaq Helps Lead Heat to NBA Championship

Shaq later fulfilled the promise he gave to the Heat and led them to an NBA title in 2006 in a historic series against the Dallas Mavericks. Teaming up with Wade, Gary Payton, Jason Williams, Antione Walker, Udonis Haslem, and more, the team brought Miami its first NBA title. 


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