Shaquille O’Neal possesses all the accolades of a winner. But like most winners, he was at one time one of the sorriest losers on the planet – and a locker room of flying caca proves it.
Before becoming the name of the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaq was a loser. Plain and simply put. He was a loser. He was losing all the time. Nothing worked, and he was becoming enraged because of it.
His first hit his stride was with the Orlando Magic. Alongside Penny Hardaway, “Diesel” spearheaded the Magic past Michael Jordan and the vaunted Chicago Bulls in the Eastern semis only to get swept by the Houston Rockets in the Finals. The following season, Shaq and Jordan squared off in the Eastern Finals, and this time, the Bulls swept away the Magic.
Shaq left the Magic for the Lakers. Everything new, and O’Neal thought he had arrived in paradise. Little did he know, or could have predicted, Shaq once again found himself in the same place as years prior. The Utah Jazz swept Shaq and the team into the proverbial trash can during the Western Conference semi-finals in 1998, and the San Antonio Spurs did the same in 1999.
After getting eliminated, O’Neal remembers what Jordan told him a few years prior and thought his time would never come. Fueled by anger and frustration, O’Neal wreaked havoc in the locker room’s bathroom.
“I just got tired of failing…One time we got swept by the Spurs and I went in the bathroom and I ripped up all the toilets, all the urinals. There was caca flying everywhere,” O’Neal continued.
Needless to say, nobody on the team dared to stop a 7-foot-1 giant, let alone an enraged one. Luckily, then-Lakers GM Jerry West, whom Shaq revealed “was strong as hell too,” managed to grab the giant and calm him down.