Shaq: “F*** I Would Have Joined the Bulls” if Player Movement Was More Acceptable

Shaquille O’Neal on the Chicago Bulls would have been a sight to see. And the big man knows it.

While looking back at Kevin Durant’s departure from OKC to join the already-monstrous Golden State Warriors on the latest episode of his podcast, O’Neal stressed that it’s a decision he wouldn’t have made himself. The 4x NBA champion suggests the NBA is all about taking down your competition, not joining them. And, if it was about the latter, O’Neal says he would have run to join the GOAT.

“When he was in OKC, he was the bus driver and everybody was on him, on him, on him, and he couldn’t close. And people were really curious like you can’t close, and then you wanna join the team that beat you? And, then, he doesn’t understand why everybody was upset about that,” O’Neal said on The Big Podcast.

“So, it’s supposed to be about competition. If I knew it was okay to join people, f*** I would have joined the Bulls. I would have played with Michael and Scotty. Then, I would have left them and played in my hometown in San Antonio with the Spurs.”

On the one hand, I can certainly see where O’Neal is coming from. There is an element of organizational commitment and hunger to prove your individual worth that seems to lack in today’s NBA. I have no doubt that player movement has diminished the perceived value of some championships.

On the other hand, the league is arguably more attractive and popular than it has ever been before. The constant talent shuffle has created an undoubtedly intriguing level of unpredictability. Not to mention, the joining of forces between differing superstars continues to provide fascinating storylines to follow.

I also can’t help but think this commentary is a bit funny coming from O’Neal. While he may have always been the most dominant player on his team, it’s not like he didn’t have superstar talent alongside him at every stop. Plus, O’Neal is the one who decided to push himself out of Orlando to go to easily the flashiest organization in sports (but, to be fair, Orlando didn’t handle O’Neal’s free agency situation particularly well).

And, hey, I would have loved to see O’Neal ring chase earlier in his career! After all, if he pushed his way to Chicago, perhaps there would be even more banners hanging in the United Center.

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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