The bad blood between Shaquille O’Neal and fellow former Miami Heat teammate Alonzo Mourning apparently came to a peaceful and amicable end after many years of animosity towards one another in 2005, according to O’Neal.
During a recent episode of O’Neal’s “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” he and his co-hosts discussed Patrick Beverley, a recent addition to The Lakers who has also had some public spats with fellow player Russell Westbrook. O’Neal stated that he thinks the two young players will either find a way to settle their differences, if anything out of professional obligation.
In order to drive home the point, O’Neal mentioned the story regarding how he was able to make peace with Mourning after they were forced to work together when playing for the Miami Heat in 2005.
“I had beef with Alonzo Mourning,” said O’Neal. “And then when he came to the Miami Heat, I had to sit him down and apologize. I said ‘You know what, Alonzo, I was a hypocrite. I never knew you was this great.’ Alonzo Mourning is a great dude. Once he got in that locker room, I was like, ‘Man, this dude is just really, really could. We should’ve did this a couple years ago.”
O’Neal and Mourning used their talents to take the Heat to win their first ever championship the following year.
The two players were the first and second draft picks in 1992, with O’Neal going to play for the Orlando Magic while Mourning played with the Charlotte Hornets. It wouldn’t be until many years later that they’d become teammates, and also carve out spots in the Hall of Fame thanks to their ability to work with each other to help make Heat history.
While this story may have had a happy ending, O’Neal’s trash talk and sense of humor has been known to push the envelope and get him into hot water in the past.
In 2003, O’Neal made a racially tinted joke aimed at then-rookie for the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming, telling a reporter for AsianWeek, “Tell Yao Ming, ‘ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh.'” O’Neal later issued an apology, stating his joke was not intended to seen as malicious or disrespectful.
This year, tennis superstar Venus Williams came out about a time years back where O’Neal had said during a radio interview that he had a sexual relationship with her. O’Neal claimed it was a crude attempt at humor, but Williams was not accepting that as an apology.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny that I have ever had a sexual relationship with Shaquille O’Neal. I don’t even know him. I’ve only met Shaquille once a few years ago, when attending an L.A. Lakers game,” Williams said. “If Shaquille made the statement as a joke, it was in very bad taste, and I am definitely offended. I think that he should use better judgement in the future, particularly where one’s reputation is concerned.”
What do you think? Has O’Neal become wiser at his older age?