In the past, Shaquille O’Neal has talked about how he spent some time with The Notorious B.I.G. on the day he died. In his 2011 book, Shaq Uncut: My Story, Shaq wrote about how he met up with Biggie at a tattoo parlor just hours before his death and mentioned how he planned to attend a party sponsored by Vibe with him at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. But in the book, Shaq claimed he fell asleep while he was waiting for his bodyguard to pick him up that night and never made it to the party. He wrote about how he found out Biggie had died when his mom paged him at 4 a.m. to see if he had attended the party—and in subsequent interviews, he has wondered whether or not he could have saved Biggie by going to the party with him.
ESPN analyst Amin Elhassan says Shaq once told a different version of that story to his Suns teammates, though. Elhassan—who worked for the Suns during Shaq’s time with the team—helped host Russillo & Kanell today and, in the final minute of the show, he was asked to share his best Shaq story. And he said that, back then, Shaq once told the team that he had warned Biggie about attending the Vibe party.
“Remember when the movie Notorious came out?” Elhassan said. “We got an advanced screening and watched it and, afterwards, Grant Hill was talking about how he was at the Vibe party that Biggie was at right before he got shot. So everyone was listening to Grant Hill like, ‘This is an amazing story.’ Except for Shaq, who was on the other end of the room and says, ‘That ain’t nothing.’ And then, he claims that he was at a tattoo parlor that afternoon and Biggie asked him what he was doing that night. He said, ‘Chillin’. What are you doing?’ Biggie said, ‘Going to the Vibe party.’ And then he said, ‘Don’t do that.’ And then he leaned back in his chair and folded his arms as if to say, ‘And the rest is history.’”
So was Shaq just trying to one-up Grant Hill with his story—or was he revealing what really happened during his final encounter with Biggie? It seems strange that he would change up his story in 2011 for his book, no?
Either way, check out the clip above to hear Elhassan talk about what Shaq said to his Suns teammates. Hopefully Shaq will clarify his story sometime soon.
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