Shaquille O’Neal Recalls Wild Story of Gary Payton Cursing at Then Ignoring Pat Riley'
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Former Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal joined a group of former NBA stars on a video call where they shared stories and reminisced about their playing days.

During the conversation, O’Neal shared a story about how Gary Payton ignored then-head coach Pat Riley when he tried to make him run plays.

“You know why I love G.P. (Payton)?” O’Neal asked. “Because when I first got to Miami and Pat was calling all these plays and he was yelling at G.P. G.P. is like, ‘Man f— that s— man I’m throwing that motherf—– to Shaq, I don’t give a f— what you say.’”

O’Neal and Payton were teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2003-04 season. Payton was traded to the Boston Celtics after the season while O’Neal was traded to the Heat.

The two reunited in Miami during the 2005-06 season and went on to help the Heat win their first NBA title that season.

Payton, who averaged 16.3 points and 6.7 assists per game during his career, was considered one of the best defenders in the league. He won the 1996 Defensive Player of the Year award and was enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

O’Neal, who is considered one of the best centers in NBA history, finished his career with four NBA championships and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2016.

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Bosun is a freelance writer who has followed the NBA for over 20 years. He has been writing about the NBA and other sports leagues for various publications since 2012 and currently covers the Miami Heat for Heat Nation.