Shaquille O'Neal Says Pat Riley Once Put His Own Head Underwater for 8 Straight Minutes

Shaquille O'Neal said that Riley put his head underwater to teach the Heat players a lesson in mind control.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Shaquille O'Neal just keeps the honors for his NBA career rolling in this year. In September, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Also, to go along with the 900-pound statue already erected at his alma mater LSU, it was announced Tuesday that the Lakers will be putting up their own nine-foot statue of O'Neal suspended in mid-air outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles this upcoming March. If that isn't enough, the Miami Heat retired his No. 32 in Miami on Tuesday night.

When he was interviewed by his colleagues Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley during a segment before the jersey retirement ceremony at the American Airlines Arena, The Diesel was asked for his most memorable moment with the Heat. He revealed that it was seeing the team's former head coach and current GM Pat Riley suspend his head underwater for eight consecutive minutes.

In the clip above, O'Neal said that it was Riley giving the team a Zen Master-like lesson on mind control.

“Well, I think Pat Riley almost drowned himself. He came in one day and was trying to teach us about mind control. He was like, ‘You guys don’t have the right mindset,’ then he pulled out a piece of paper and he said, ‘The world record holder of breath underwater is, let’s just say, five minutes.’ That man put his head in an ice cold bucket for about eight minutes.”

The NBA on TNT panel tried to call Shaq's bluff about his claim regarding Riley, but he stuck to his story.

"Eight minutes straight. He did it. He did it. I saw it.”

When it comes to The Diesel, he ain't gotta lie. Shaq led the Heat to the franchise's first NBA championship win in 2006, the fourth and final world title of his illustrious career.

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