I’ve heard some wild stories about Shaquille O’Neal, but this one takes the cake.
Grant Hill was reminiscing about his time as Shaq’s teammate while on the Phoenix Suns on the set for TNT’s Inside the NBA.
According to The Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro, Hill told a story about the time that Shaq put another Suns teammate in a sleeper hold and put him to sleep.
The Heat Index filled the gaps in his anecdote. It was April 2008. Imagine the Suns environment after a crushing Game 1 loss at San Antonio when Tim Duncan made a game-tying overtime 3-pointer to spur his team to victory.
There was an awkward discomfort about the off days in San Antonio and a sense that an ashen Mike D’Antoni was coaching the team for a final time.
Who knew just how much he was handling?
It turns out O’Neal and Gordan Giricek, who had been with the Suns for all of six weeks, mixed it up verbally during a closed practice to the point that O’Neal auditioned for his WWE future. He put Giricek in a sleeper hold, except it was no fake. Giricek passed out.
Giricek played in the remainder of the season, but it was his last NBA season.
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