Shaquille O’Neal said he dealt with bullies in his youth, but he unveiled that he was primarily picked on by girls, not boys.
“I had this girl, Monica, she used to beat me up all the time. … No guys, just girls.”
Shaquille “Big Diesel” O’Neal bullied by girls
Known as one of the most physically dominant big men of all time, it is hard to believe that “The Big Diesel” could have ever experienced bullying. Perhaps it makes more sense it came from the girls instead the boys.
O’Neal was already 6-foot-6 and around 220 pounds when he was 13 years old. Having that stature at such a young age would make it hard to be bullied. Boys choosing to avoid The Big Diesel was probably a smart decision.
By age 21, Shaq would grow to be over 7-fee tall and 310 pounds. There is no surprise to the why or how of his domination in the key.
In O’Neal’s first season in the league, he recorded 3.5 blocks per game, making his presence as a big known early on. His size only continued to grow, as did his success down low.
Going on to win four championships, “Big Diesel” left little reason to be bullied any longer. From the moment he started his career to the moment it ended, Shaq’s presence was well known and much respected.
Regardless of his stature, O’Neal was never known as a bully. In fact, he has a relatively kind demeanor off the court. “The Big Diesel” was arguable a gentle giant once the game was over, just not to be trifled with when that clock was running.
It seems that the size and power never ceased within O’Neal, as per this video posted to his Instagram in 2017.
O’Neal retired in 2011, so the video comes well after the big man had stepped away from the game. It’s no surprise that he still maintained that power so long after retirement.
Regardless of his immense size, O’Neal has always made sure to keep his physicality within the bounds of competition. His aggression never surpassed the court, and he maintained an air of kindness otherwise.
It seems Shaq took the bullying from his youth personally and went forward making sure he would never be on the wrong end of that exchange again.
“The Big Diesel” earneded reportedly over $286 million across 19 years of bullying opponents in the league.