It is no secret that Shaquille O'Neal is a bit of a joker. Whether he is on 'Inside the NBA' or social media, the big man is always the life and soul of the party. It was no different during his career on the hardwood. Although he was an animal on the floor, there was always time for a laugh with the center.
Shaq was part of the dominant L.A. Lakers team from the early 2000s and played a huge role alongside Kobe Bryant as the Purple and Gold claimed a three-peat between 2000 and 2002.
At an event hosted by American Express, the TV analyst was joined on stage by his former coach at the Staples Center, Phil Jackson. The current New York Knicks president claimed 11 championship rings during his coaching career, including five with Los Angeles and three with Shaq.
When asked by ESPN’s Hannah Storm about creating a dynasty in the City of Angels during the 00s, Jackson explained a funny story of how O'Neal's fun-loving personality transpired to the locker room of such a dominant team.
He said: “Well, you know, numbers of times, he could crack a team up with humorous effects on the floor. There were times when he shocked us all in a practice situation, especially when he showed up nude with just his shoes on.”
Shaq's response was simply: "I don't remember," with a smile.
A nude Diesel prank should come as a surprise to few. The 44-year-old has generated something of a reputation for naked shenanigans. His former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry told a similar story about Shaq to Sports Illustrated back in 2014.
According to Gentry, “every few days or every week or so” the three-time NBA Finals MVP would tackle a coach or teammate while completely naked and wrestle with them in an act he called "Brazilian naked wrestling".
Trying to shift the weight of 325lb, completely nude man would've been a tough task for anybody and we really don't envy anybody who was on the receiving end of this treatment from the 15-time All-Star.
His attitude didn't always go down well with teammates, though. His relationship with Bryant during their time together in Los Angeles was notoriously frosty.
Shaq's laid back persona did not mix well with the workaholic mindset of Kobe. Despite their differences, there was no doubting the big man's importance to the franchise - he wouldn't have a statue outside of Staples otherwise.
Without O'Neal, the three-peat would've been just a pipe dream. Never has there been such a dominant force in the NBA, and there may never be one again. But it would be better for everyone if he kept his clothes on in the future.