If you've been reading Complex Sports for awhile now, then you already know that Shaquille O'Neal used to wrestle his Phoenix teammates and coaches butt naked during his season-plus in the desert with the Suns. Additionally, you know that Shaq used to show up at Lakers practices wearing nothing more than his legendarily massive sneakers, according to Phil Jackson. But what you might not know is that the Suns and Lakers weren't the only two teams who got to, er, "enjoy" naked Shaq. It seems he also stripped down on the regular and wrestled naked with teammates during his team with the Heat in Miami.
On Thursday, ESPN.com rolled out a feature about Shaq's time in South Beach to commemorate his jersey being retired by the team on Thursday night. And in the feature, a pair of his former teammates talked about the sight of one of the biggest stars in league history bear-hugging contemporaries with no clothes on. We'll let them explain the specifics. First, Udonis Haslem:
He spent some time running around the locker room naked. If you can imagine somebody 7-foot and 300 pounds running around the locker room naked, bear hugging and body slamming people. If your mind can go there.
Now that you have that image firmly implanted in your head, here's Alonzo Mourning elaborating on it:
He knew to stay away from me, because I would have hit him in the nuts. He definitely kept it loose. Those times were comical. He would really torture the ball boys. He would grab them and jump on them, butt naked. He would grab them and roll all over the floors with them. It was hilarious.
Sounds like he left a lot of witnesses. But lest you think that's all Shaq did in Miami, Pat Riley let it be known that he was allowed to run around naked, in part, because everyone in the organization loved him:
He would shower a lot of the employees with gifts and things of that nature. I found him to be a person that people around here love. They love Shaq. It was a good time to be part of the Miami Heat.
It's good to know lingering mental scars were kept to a minimum.
We look forward to hearing about how he also got naked in Orlando, Boston, and Cleveland some time down the road. Until then, check out the rest of the ESPN.com article for more hilarious Shaq anecdotes.