Being a sports player, its such an exciting prospect when you make it to the big stage of any sport. There is a whole lot of opportunities up for grabs to make a name for yourself in the world. But there is an equally an ignominious side to it, specially in a team game. Rookies that come into NBA rosters often find themselves, being asked to do some tasks of the senior pros like carrying their bags and getting them food. And while there are very few exceptions to this rule, not every player is your average rookie, especially not Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaq entered the league in 1992 as the No. 1 overall pick and there was already the buzz about him in the NBA circles that he could turn to be one of the future faces of the league. O’Neal was a franchise player as soon as he entered the league, and he knew it. So when Scott Skiles tried to make Shaq do some rookie duties, Shaq gave him an answer in his own belligerent style. Shaq recalled the story of his reaction to being asked to carry Skiles’ bags on ‘The Big Podcast With Shaq’.
“Scott Skiles came one day and said, ‘Hey, carry my bags’. I said I’m no rookie, I’m a franchise player. I told him to his face. Anybody thinking about making me carry their bags, you better shut your mouth, or part two of my killing spree gonna happen here upon you.”
Shaquille O’Neal entered the league as an All-Star, winning the honor in his rookie year after averaging over 23 points and 13 rebounds per game in his first season. Players of that high talent are incredibly crucial to teams in the NBA, and O’Neal knew how good he was and acted like it since Day 1.
It is worth noting that it wasn’t the hazing of rookies Shaq was against though, as he enjoyed doing it to rookies later in his career. But Shaq being one of the most dominant players in the history of the NBA, enjoyed the leverage of getting away with just about whatever he wanted to do.