Future Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal is known almost as much for his goofy persona as he is the on-court dominance that made him a four-time champion. Little did we know that Shaq frequently used his gigantic size to similar effect off the court, too. In a hilarious – or scarring? – interview on TrueHoopTV, Golden State Warriors assistant and former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry casually told a story of O’Neal wrestling him to the ground in the locker room – while the Big Cactus was “stark naked.”
Just in case you’re too afraid watch the video above – the reenactment uses safe-for-work drawings, thankfully – here’s the transcription of Gentry’s harrowing tale:
Gentry: The thing that [Shaq] did that he was notorious for is every few days – or week or so – he would decide that it was time for this Brazilian, naked wrestling contest. So you would never know who the chosen one was.
What would happen when you least expect is that this seven-foot, 310 pound guy would turn the corner. And he would be stark naked and he would run right at you full-speed, grab you. He would take you to the floor and then he would do about five rollovers with you. And he would always tell our trainers who it was gonna be, so they were always prepared for it. But you never knew who it was gonna be.
Yes, I was a victim of this.
Henry Abbott: Did you require support of the training staff to recover?
Gentry: I did. And then I also had to go to therapy quite a bit after that (laughs).
Abbott:You’re the coach! I’d imagine somebody seeing this might think it would be to prevent this kind of thing from happening.
Gentry: Nobody prevents Shaw from doing anything.
You heard and read that right: A completely naked Shaq once wrestled his head coach to the ground. For laughs!
We’re shocked Gentry could recount the experience fondly. Whether he’s naked or not, getting “rolled-over” by a man the size of O’Neal seems the type of near-death event that could change a person. The nudity makes even thinking about it just as dangerous.
Would you survive such a wrestling match with Shaq?
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