Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal recently revealed how he and Alonzo Mourning ended their beef during O’Neal’s Miami Heat tenure.
“I had beef with Alonzo Mourning,” O’Neal said. “And then when he came to the Miami Heat, I had to sit him down and apologize. I said, ‘You know what Alonzo, I was a hypocrite. I never knew you was this great.’ Alonzo Mourning is a great dude.”
O’Neal went on to explain that even though they were competitors before, putting aside their previous differences helped them win an NBA title with the Heat in the 2005-06 season.
“Once he got in that locker room, I was like, ‘Man, this dude is just really, really cool. We should’ve did this a couple years ago,’” O’Neal said.
O’Neal told the story to explain how Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley can put aside their previous disagreements now that they are teammates on the Lakers.
O’Neal and Mourning were a lethal duo in the 2005-06 season despite the fact that Mourning was nearing the end of his career. The veteran center appeared in 65 games for the Heat that season, and he averaged 7.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.
O’Neal, who was still one of the more dominant players in the league at the time, appeared in 59 games for the Heat in the 2005-06 season. He put up 20.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.
Mourning, O’Neal, Dwyane Wade and several other key players led the Heat to the 2006 NBA championship, and that 2005-06 squad will certainly go down as one of the best in Heat history.
O’Neal’s ability to see that he and Mourning had to work together to win a title was one of the reasons why the team was so successful. It’s certainly possible Westbrook and Beverley will follow a similar path to help the Lakers in the 2022-23 season.