Smush Parker details how exchanging Kobe Bryant stories with Shaquille O’Neal led to contract offer from Miami Heat'
3 Min Read
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Former Miami Heat guard Smush Parker revealed how he received a contract offer from the Heat during his NBA career.

Parker, who played with Kobe Bryant on the Los Angeles Lakers, once saw former Lakers and Heat center Shaquille O’Neal at a club. The two players both played with Bryant – a Hall of Famer – and exchanged stories about playing with him.

According to Parker, he was offered a two-year deal with the Heat the day after talking with O’Neal.

“He asked me where I was playing at next,” Parker said. “And I said, ‘I’m a free agent, still shopping around.’ And he makes a phone call. Long story short, the very next day, my agent had a two-year contract with the Miami Heat, guaranteed this time — my first guaranteed contract outta the six-year career that I had in the NBA.”

It’s a pretty awesome story for Parker, as he and O’Neal clearly hit it off during their conversation so much that O’Neal wanted to play with the guard.

Parker appeared in nine games for Miami in the 2007-08 season, but he ended up finishing that season as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, appearing in 19 games for them.

As a member of the Heat, Parker averaged 4.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 31.5 percent from the field. He did end up playing 20.3 minutes per game.

O’Neal, who also began the 2007-08 season with Miami but ended up with another team to finish, won three titles with the Lakers and one with the Heat. He ended up being moved to the Phoenix Suns in the 2007-08 campaign, one of the three teams he played for in the final seasons of his career.

O’Neal and Bryant were one of the greatest duos in NBA history, but they ended up breaking up when O’Neal went to Miami. Bryant’s relentless work ethic led to him challenging O’Neal at times, and it’s possible Parker and O’Neal had similar experiences playing with the Lakers legend.

Parker played in 82 games in back-to-back seasons for the Lakers in the 2005–06 campaign and 2006-07 season.

He averaged over 11 points per game in those two seasons, but the Lakers did not keep him on the roster for the 2007-08 campaign.

Bryant would go on to win two more titles in his career after both O’Neal and Parker were gone.

While Parker didn’t last long in Miami, he was able to extend his career a bit by conversing with O’Neal. It’s cool to see that O’Neal – a Hall of Famer – appeared to come through for Parker at the time.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.