Shaq Top Ten List of Memories

6) Shaq was rarely late to practice and Phil Jackson gave us one free “late pass” due to the unpredictable LA traffic.  So one day Shaq comes in about ten minutes late and Phil Says, “Shaq, why are you late?”  Shaq said, “I was coming down the highway and a big rig flipped full of chickens…there were eggs, feathers, and chickens everywhere. Sorry about that Phil.”

Two weeks later Shaq came late and Phil asked, “What happened Shaq?”  Shaq said, “I was on time an everything then this huge truck filled with chickens flipped.  There were eggs and feathers everywhere.”  The whole team was dying laughing.  Phil issued the fine, but I think even he loved it despite the fact that he had to fine Shaq.

5) Before our final game in New Jersey for the 3rd World Championship Shaq got everybody together and said something like, “We need to get this win tonight…we’ve got to do it for Mitch [Richmond].”   [content_ads float=”right”]
Mitch was in the last year of his career and had played a big role leadership-wise and had some nice games for the team.  But he had not yet won a championship ring.  Shaq just always respected the people who had gone before and all of the work that Mitch had put in and his stature and respect as an NBA veteran from before Shaq came into the league.  He always talked in private about the respect he had for Wilt, Russell, George Mikan, etc.  He gave so much respect to others who deserved it, and he received the same respect back.

4) In LA, Shaq was involved with law enforcement and used to tell us about enforcement operations he went on.  Some of his stories were incredible. I was never quite sure where the intersection of fact and fiction was for one of those operations he told us about in LA.  But here is one (probably of many examples) where Shaq stepped up in helping someone else.  In this case he intervened with someone involved in bullying and assault  towards a gay couple.  Click Here

Mark Madsen
Mark Madsen is the head basketball coach at Utah Valley University. He played nine years in the NBA (2000-2009) as a member of both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. He began coaching in 2009 for the NBA G-League and eventually returned to the LA Lakers where he spent six seasons as an assistant. He married the former Hannah Harkness and the couple has two young children.

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