When you think of all the places that Shaquille O’Neal played during his NBA career, there are the three places that everyone remembers immediately (Orlando, Los Angeles, and Miami) and there are the three places that are kind of hard to remember (Phoenix, Cleveland, and Boston). Of those three places that are less associated with O’Neal, the most forgettable one is probably Phoenix – he played with LeBron James in Cleveland and wrapped up his career Boston, while Phoenix never really had anything memorable.*
Well, scratch that: if you’re former Suns guard/forward Gordan Giricek, odds are you will never forget that time Shaq choked you out in the locker room. This has been brought up in the past by another former Suns teammate in Grant Hill, but on the episode of Inside the NBA after the All-Star Game, Diesel and his Phoenix teammate Steve Nash discussed the ordeal. Basically, Nash came out of the bathroom and had yelled at O’Neal for choking out Giricek a few minutes before a game tipped off because he was getting on Shaq’s nerves. The entire story was capped off with Shaq’s impression of Giricek right before he faded to black:
As it turns out, even if you were on the same team as Shaquille O’Neal, it was probably smart to stay out of the Diesel’s way.
*Except, Shaq was relatively healthy and a reliable contributor thanks to their superior training staff.