Jerry West Digital Collection

Shaquille O'Neal

Oral History Clips

Shaquille O'Neal
Jonathan Coleman
Interview Date Tesim:
Clip 1:
JC: developed a relationship that... it seemed it was much more than executive .

SO:    Yes, it was close. That was because he was an honest guy. He was a great player and be was a disciplinarian. But, again, it wasn't where I called him and talked to him every day. It was just a respect thing.

JC: But you were over at the house, and-

SO:    Oh, yes, I went to his house.

JC:    You got to know Ryan.

SO:    I got to know his kids, hang out with his kids. He has a beautiful family. He actually lives down the street from one of my partners.

Clip 2:
JC:    Well, listen, Shaq, I appreciate this. You're important to Jerry's career, as you know, and...

SO: You're welcome. Tell him I thank him, and I owe him three. If it wasn't for him taking that chance on a 26-year-old, medium-focused basketball player who wanted to do movies and albums, I wouldn't be there.

JC: Is that what you were at that time, medium-focused?

SO:    Medium-focused.

JC:    He helped you get more focused?

SO:    Him, he never, because I was putting up such great numbers, and we really didn't have a great team, he never really jumped them. He never jumped them. He'd just say, "I need you to do a little more." But he never said, "Bleep. Stop doing that." He never said that. It was everybody else who said that.
A&M 3884; Series 13
Author Jonathan Coleman interviewed Shaquille O'Neal for the book West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life. O'Neal is a retired professional basketball player who played for Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics.

Clip 1:
O'Neal discusses his professional versus personal relationship with Jerry West.

Clip 2:
O'Neal thanks Jerry West for believing in him.
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Personal Names:
West, Jerry, 1938- and O'Neal, Shaquille
Oral Histories