The worst teammate in Shaquille O’Neal’s career? Spoiler alert, it’s not Kobe Bryant

Shaquille O’Neal is definitely one of the greatest characters in NBA history, his long career included 20 seasons and six teams where he had hundreds of different teammates, in his stints with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.

His best period, for the vast majority, occurred during his time with the Lakers, however, his differences with Kobe Bryant were public knowledge, to the extent that after the three NBA championships they achieved together, Shaq ended up leaving for Miami to win with Dwayne Wade one more Larry O’Brien Trophy in his career.

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Why did Shaq suffer with Dennis Rodman?

However, when O’Neal was asked on The Big Podcast with Shaq about who had been his worst teammate in his career, Kobe was not remotely an option to consider, the answer was extremely direct and revealing.

“Worst teammate? Dennis Rodman,” O’Neal said. “He was a great player, but he made it hard. Like when you try to corral the guys together and the people above you [are] letting this one guy do whatever he wants. So we had to be there an hour before the game. He’d come in fifteen minutes before the game eating chicken and rice. While the coaches are talking, he would jump in the shower. Cold shower. Come and give you 15-20 rebounds.”

How did Dennis Rodman come to the Lakers?

After a stint with the Chicago Bulls where he won three championships with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Rodman was traded to the Lakers where he seemed to be the missing piece for the young Shaq and Kobe to contend for the title in the 1998-1999 season without MJ in the NBA.

However, Rodman disappointed in Los Angeles, as he only played 23 games and could not even be part of the starting lineup of coach Del Harris‘ team, the team ended up being eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals series by the eventual champions San Antonio Spurs.