Jared Dudley Recalls First Time Meeting Lakers Legend Shaquille O’Neal
Lakers To Honor Shaquille O’neal With Statue Outside Staples Center
Mark J. Terrill-AP Photo

For many basketball fans, Shaquille O’Neal was the single, most dominant force the game had ever seen. But aside from his menacing physical appearance, is a man of many talents whose charisma has turned him into one of the most notable figures in pop culture.

Although Los Angeles Lakers fans like to forget about the list of teams he joined after leaving the purple and gold, Shaq seemed to leave his personal mark on just about every one of them, including the Phoenix Suns.

After recently signing with his former team, Suns forward Jared Dudley revealed the first time he ever met Shaq after being traded in just his second season, via The Players Tribune.

“I remember coming into the locker room on one of my first days with the Suns in 2008, and there was Shaq. The ultimate showman. I was pretty intimidated at first, but he clowned me right away. “Boooy, you look like a hip-hop Grant Hill!” Everybody cracked up. Shaq was just a dude you always wanted to be around.”

While news about Shaq poking fun at an incoming player certainly comes as no surprise, it seems Dudley also got to Phoenix in time to witness the early stages of DJ Diesel during a poker game with teammates.

“Everybody was set, ready to begin, and right before I went to deal, Shaq cut in. “Wait, wait, wait, hold up a sec,” he said as he tried to squeeze out of his seat. We weren’t sure what the deal was. He had a serious look on his face like he needed to tell us something super important. He flipped his headphones off his massive head and said: “You guys gotta listen to this beat I just made.” We all sort of looked at him confused, and started to crack up. He was so hyped it was hilarious.”

Whether he’s analyzing in the studio or spinning on the 1’s and 2’s, there is no doubt that Shaquille O’Neal is one-of-a-kind.

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