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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Robert Marvi

Shaquille O’Neal claims he weighed over 400 pounds during Lakers’ 2002 title run

In the early 2000s, there was no player in the NBA more dominant than Shaquille O’Neal. During that time, he was quite possibly the most dominant player ever.

During the 1999-2000 campaign, he averaged a league-high 29.7 points plus 13.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.0 blocked shots, earning him his one and only regular-season MVP award. Considering the NBA game was played at a snail’s pace back then, it was likely the most dominant season any human being has ever had in the history of the sport.

That season saw the Los Angeles Lakers win their first of three straight world championships. O’Neal was very motivated that season, but afterward, his motivation began to wane. It could be seen in his declining physical shape and expanding waistline.

While on SiriusXM Sports with legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady, O’Neal claimed he weighed over 400 pounds during the 2001-02 season.

Via Sports Illustrated:

“In our first championship I was 345 (pounds) and then had a great summer, came back 385 for the second one,” O’Neal said. “Last championship I was 415.”

As a measure of just dominant O’Neal was, despite weighing 415 pounds (according to him) and dealing with a painful arthritic big toe, he averaged 27.2 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks during the 2001-02 campaign. In his final 10 playoff games that year, he put up 33.1 points and 13.5 boards per contest to help the Lakers win their third straight Larry O’Brien Trophy.

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