During the show, O’Neal talked about the similarities among some of the best players he was teammates with during his career and compared Heat legend Dwyane Wade to former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash in January.
“Penny [Hardaway] was a young Magic Johnson and I was a young Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar],” said O’Neal when asked to break down the differences between the stars he played with. “Kobe was a young Michael Jordan before he became Michael Jordan. And LeBron [James] is both of them combined. And D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) was Kobe when he was coming into his own. I’ll just put it like that.”
During his 19-year career, O’Neal played with some of the biggest stars in NBA history.
He was teammates with Hardaway in Orlando, Bryant, Karl Malone and Gary Payton in Los Angeles, Wade in Miami, Steve Nash and Grant Hill in Phoenix, James in Cleveland, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Boston.
O’Neal won three rings with the Lakers and won another with the Heat. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 1993 as a member of the Orlando Magic and the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award in 2000 as a member of the Lakers.