In the summer of 2004, Shaquille O’Neal requested a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers. However, his move from the Lakers was apparently a long time coming. In a recent interview, O’Neal revealed that the Lakers management warned him they would trade him if they failed to win the NBA Finals 2004 against Detroit Pistons.
Shaquille O’Neal recently appeared on Fox Sports Radio with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker to talk about ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary – The Last Dance. The documentary’s first episode heavily focuses on Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause, who played a part in breaking up their championship team after the 1997-98 season. During the interview, O’Neal revealed how something similar happened to him while playing with the Lakers.
O’Neal revealed that the Lakers had told him ahead of the finals against Pistons that he would be ‘out of there’ if they lost. He further added that it had been someone ‘upstairs in the office’ who made the decision. If they lost, the team would start to make changes. Once they lost to the Detroit Pistons, O’Neal recalled that he knew that he had to move on.
The Lakers played the NBA Finals 2004 against the Pistons, who had players like Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace. Pistons won the seven-game series by winning four out of five games. Shaquille O'Neal was then traded to Miami Heat in the summer for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and one first-round pick, where he won a championship in 2006. Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 34 jersey was retired by the Lakers on April 2, 2013.
The first two episodes of Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance premiered on Sunday, April 19 (April 20 IST), garnering an average of 6.1 million viewers. The first episode of the ten-part docu-series focuses on Krause and his role in the Bulls dynasty, while the second episode sheds light on Scottie Pippen’s contract with the team. Featuring never-seen-before anecdotes from Michael Jordan’s journey with the Bulls, the release of the documentary was moved to April from June due to the coronavirus pandemic. The next two episodes of The Last Dance will be released on April 26 (April 27 IST).