Shaquille O’Neal Explains Why He ‘Never’ Worked Hard In Practice

Practice makes perfect, or so they say. But practice can only make perfect if the athlete actually participates and gives their all. If you’re Shaq, practice is just a few hours or so to chill. As the Big Aristotle tells Yahoo Sports, he never worked hard in practice, for a very specific reason:

“In the words of Allen Iverson, ‘We talkin’ ’bout practice?’ Did I work hard in practice? No. Never. And let me tell you why. The guy that I’m playing against, they’re under me. So to try to show that they’re worthy of being a NBA player, they would touch me up. So it was my philosophy: I’m not gonna get touched up twice. I’m not gonna get beat up at practice, then I’m not gonna get beat up in the game. So I’ll chill in practice and I’ll give you my all in the game.”

“It’s actually a bad way to think. No player that’s listening to this interview should do what I did. Don’t do it.”

Now, Shaq could get away with not practicing hard because one most nights, he was the biggest and quickest player in the frontcourt. Not every player is born with Shaq’s natural abilities and assets. And, as he even admits, it’s a terrible philosophy to take practice so lightly, whether you’re the best player or the last guy on the bench.

The game is where you make your impact, but practice is where you hone the skills that allow you to make that impact. Shaq knows that, too. Luckily though, he was talented enough to win four championships despite ignoring his own advice.

(Via Yahoo Sports)