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Shaq Reveals Legend He Wanted To Team Up With In 2004

Shaq O'Neal recently revealed that he almost joined forces with Dirk Nowitzki in 2004.

The NBA and sports in general are always filled with hypotheticals. How would a player’s career have ended up if not for injuries? What if a particular trade was actually consummated? What if a team drafted this player instead of that player? Add name to the endless list of ꧙hypotheti🌠cals.

O’Neal is widely known as one of the most dominant players in NBA history. No one was quite able to match up with his size, and that allowed him to own the paint. The 19-year veteran played with some wonderful teammates throughout his career. While he was still dominating, he shared the court with Hall of Famers and later . In the twilight of his career, O’Neal was teammates with , , , and . What if the 7-1” big man teamed up with a legend from Germany?

Shaq Reveals He Wanted To Team Up With Dirk Nowitzki In 2004

Shaq Wanted To Go To Dallas

On his podcast, O’Neal recently had Dallas Mavericks all-timer as a guest. O’Neal asked the 2023 Hall of Famer to name three players that he wished he played with. Nowitzki named Shaq as one of his three. That’s when O’Neal revealed that he was trying to get traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Mavericks.

It can’t be seen as surprising that the Lakers front office did not want to team😼 these two together as they are in the same conference. This reportedly happened in 2004, fresh after Los Angeles was upset by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals.

Instead, Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat in the 2004 offseason. As Nowitzki mentioned, it ♓was the Heat led by O’Neal and Wade that defeated his Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals. That was Shaq’s fourth and fi💜nal championship. Nowitzki did eventually get his ring in 2011 with Dallas.

Two Of The All-Time Greats

O’Neal’s most famous partnership in the NBA was of course with Bryant. While it’s well known that the two didn’t always see eye-to-eye, they won three straight titles from 2000 to 2002. While Bryant sits fourth on the , Nowitzki isn’t far behind. His 31,560 career points place him sixth all⛦-time. Shaq is ninth with 28,596 career points.

O’Neal was 32 years old in 2004 when he wasn’t tꦺraded to Dallas, but instead to Miami. In his first season with the Heat, he was runner-up for MVP behind . Nowitzki was just 26 years old back in 2004. He has many more impactful seasons left in his career, winning MVP in 2006-07 and Finals MVP in 2011.

While🙈 O’Neal and Nowitzki never did get to team up, it’s fun to imagine the possibilities of what they could have done together.

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