Shaquille O’Neal is an NBA legend, no question about it. He was a physical monster on the court, capable of dominating opponents with ease.
However, for a long time, it was generally accepted that the famed Lakers center was significantly taller than 7 feet. In fact, Shaq has come out and said that every record and every statistic has been false. Is it true then that Shaquille O’Neal is shorter than 7 feet?
How Tall is Shaq?
Whenever Shaq has been mentioned, it has usually been as the 7-foot behemoth. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a prominent player for the Milwaukee Bucks, is listed as 6 feet, 11 inches tall. Even so, the 27-year-old boasted of his height superiority to O’Neal on social media.
When ‘The Big Aristotle’ appeared on Shaq’s Big Podcast, he was, of course, questioned on this same topic. In response, Shaq dropped a bombshell on the world.
When the four-time NBA champion was asked about Giannis’ claim that he is taller than Shaq, he simply said, “He’s pretty up there.” He continued, “First of all, I’m not 7’1″. I’m 6’11”. I just played like I was 7’1″. And 7 foot 1 just sounded, you know, just so, you know.”
That would make the Greek freak around the same height as Shaq, if not taller. At least if we put our faith in Shaq.
Who is Shaquille O’Neal?
Shaquille O’Neal, or “Shaq,” as he is most often known, is a basketball icon.
He became one of the most famous athletes in the world after his birth on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey.
Shaq’s influence went much beyond his size in the game. He was a game-changer in the middle because of his height, weight, and speed. He was known as one of the game’s most formidable forces due to his ability to bully defenders inside the arc and finish plays with thundering dunks.
Over the course of his 19-year NBA career, Shaq was a member of a number of different teams, including the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns, Cavs, and Celtics. He was voted Finals MVP three times and won four NBA titles overall (three with the Lakers and one with the Heat).
Shaq was a cultural icon off the court thanks to his oversized image. His magnetism was on display in his many endeavors, from music to acting to law enforcement. Shaq’s charismatic personality and worldwide popularity transcended the field of athletics.
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Shaq’s MMA Impact: Inspiring Others to Chase Their Dreams
It was the year 2000 when Shaquille O’Neal first tried his hand at mixed martial arts (MMA). He wanted to learn more than just one fighting style, so he spent time at Gracie Gym with Jonathan Burke to get better at boxing, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, and wrestling. He began going by the name “Diesel” while working out at the gym at this time.
O’Neal’s public challenge to the famous kickboxer and MMA fighter Choi Hong-man was a show of his dedication to the sport of mixed martial arts. O’Neal issued the challenge in the form of a YouTube video on June 17, 2009, in which he stated his desire for a fight under MMA rules.
Choi, intrigued by the challenge, replied positively, saying that he would be willing to fight if given the chance. Choi answered a question regarding O’Neal’s prospects of winning with a firm “No.”
O’Neal, undeterred, reiterated his intention to fight Choi in an interview at UFC 118 on August 28, 2010, in Boston. His constant desire to compete in mixed martial arts showed his determination to prove himself against difficult opponents like Choi Hong-man.