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Shaq Explains How He Played Only 30 Percent of His Real Game During NBA Career

Shaquille O’Neal is set to enter the Basketball Hall of Fame this week, and he’ll likely go down as the “most dominant” center in NBA history.

During a question and answer with Shams Charania of The Vertical, The Diesel admitted to not doing as much on the court because he simply wanted to dominate and not worry about conditioning or other factors.

“I only played 30 percent of my real game,” he said. “I had a great career, but I didn’t get a chance to showcase what I can really do. That’s because the double- and triple-teams were coming so quick, I had to dominate, dominate, dominate inside. I had the ability to step out, go around defenders, dribble by people, but I never got to show that.

“I had to focus on being the most powerful, dominant player to ever play the game.”

The Diesel admitted that coming out of LSU and being drafted by the Orlando Magic, he found early on that he simply wanted to pound on the opposition, likely forsaken other parts of his game.

“When I first entered the league, I figured out my niche early. Not only did I want to be the best big man, I wanted to be the most dominant. A lot of people can claim the title of the best, but only a few can say they were the most dominant. That was my goal. I wanted to be in the conversation championship-wise and stats-wise, changing the game like Mike [Jordan] and Wilt [Chamberlain] did. I really wished I could have continued out my last year in Boston.”

As we mentioned earlier, it definitely would have been interesting to see how dominant Shaq really could have been had he been in top shape or added levels to his game like David Robinson or Hakeem Olajuwon.

-- Glenn Erby

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