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Why did Shaq leave Orlando?


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#1 OFFLINE   JAB2013

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:28 PM

The Magic were a better team at the time they had been swept by the 72-10 Bulls in the ECF and were a year removed from being in the 1995 NBA Finals. The Lakers lost in the first round to the Rockets in 1996 3-1. Kobe was only a rookie at the time and the Lakers gutted there roster to have the salary cap to sign Shaq. Penny Hardaway was a 2x All NBA first team and All-Star at that point and finished 3rd in MVP voting during the 1995-1996 season behind David Robinson and Michael Jordan. So why did Shaq leave?

#2 OFFLINE   LikeABosh

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:29 PM

MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY

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#3 OFFLINE   The Logo

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:29 PM

Money. Also if I remember correctly, Shaq didn't like the manegment or coach Brian Hill.

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#4 ONLINE   The Future

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:50 AM

Money, to make films and be undisputed No.1 without any questions.
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#5 OFFLINE   32Dayz

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:57 AM

He left because Orlando management low balled him and then played head games with him in the media and in the local newspapers.

While they were doing this Jerry West came and made friends with the big fella and offered him a much larger contract.

Had Orlando made it clear to him that they were going to build around him and gave him a max contract I think there would have been a very good chance he would have stayed.

#6 ONLINE   Saint Nick C

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:53 AM

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The Magic were a better team at the time they had been swept by the 72-10 Bulls in the ECF and were a year removed from being in the 1995 NBA Finals.

Shaq basically felt that his ability to maximize his potential financially was limited in Orlando, famously calling the area, "a dried up little pond". This was also when Shaq and Penny Hardaway's personalities and young ego started to clash and his dislike of Brian Hill's coaching and personality came to the surface. In his own words Shaq said he "didn't respect" Hill. With Hardaway he admitted jealousy over the guards fast rise. Orlando had actually matched Los Angeles offer, but Shaq had given Jerry West his word and accepted the Lakers deal.

Penny Hardaway:
``He really doesn't have a lot to say to me now,'' Hardaway said. ``I don't know what the problem is, but he really doesn't have a lot to say to me. He tries to avoid me. But you know we were on the elevator together, and I spoke to him. He really didn't want to speak back, but he did. ... I don't really understand it. But, so be it.

``It is uncomfortable. You're with somebody for the first couple of years and you think you have a relationship with them. You don't have to be cool,[ friends) but you at least think you have a small relationship with him. Now that he's left, it's like: `Forget everything in Orlando, even you.' So who knows?''

The Lakers lost in the first round to the Rockets in 1996 3-1. Kobe was only a rookie at the time and the Lakers gutted there roster to have the salary cap to sign Shaq.

Actually the Lakers finished 53-29... which was way more than anyone anticipated them winning. A lot of that had to do with Magic Johnson coming out of retirement and leading a very young group of players to the playoffs. Also Kobe wasn't on the Lakers in 95-96 when they lost to the Rockets 3-1 in the PS. Shaq's first year with the Lakers was also Kobe's first year. And Finally, the Lakers didn't gut their roster... This was to me the Lakers management at it's finest in terms of low risk high reward signings. Not only did they keep Van Exel, Jones, Campbell and Ceballos... they traded Cedric for Robert Horry. Picked three solid rookies in Bryant, Fisher and Travis Knight. Picked up solid proven vets Kersey and reacquired Byron Scott. Later adding Glen Rice, Rick Fox and Brian Shaw in the following seasons and adding Phil and his coaching team to the organization. They actually didn't gut anything from the team... They won three more games all with Shaq missing 31 games his first year with the team.

Penny Hardaway was a 2x All NBA first team and All-Star at that point and finished 3rd in MVP voting during the 1995-1996 season behind David Robinson and Michael Jordan.

Again, their relationship was fractured and neither was mature enough to work it out. Shaq felt that Penny was forgetting who was the "MAN" and was taking too many shots. Penny was letting the quick fame and attention detract him as a player. It was a fixable break, but both were young and immature and didn't have anyone like a Jerry West or Phil Jackson to bring them together in Orlando.


So why did Shaq leave?

Because he could. And, it actually worked out for the better. Hardaway would soon become a shell of his former self, Nick Anderson was never the same player again. Grant started his decline. Dennis Scott started a hobby of competitive doughnut eating. Brian Hill in all fairness wasn't a very good coach. Shaq got to be coached by Phil Jackson, learn from Jerry West, party with Jerry Buss. Got to play for a great franchise. Won an MVP and 3 Finals MVP's... multiple All-Star games, commercial out the wahzoo, movies, television appearances, a clothing line, a shoe company... He got what he was looking for and more.
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#7 OFFLINE   JAB2013

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:37 AM

Shaq's first year with the Lakers was also Kobe's first year

`yeah i know i meant at the time when he signed with the Lakers they had completed the trade with Charoltte to get Kobe for Vlade Divac




Hardaway would soon become a shell of his former self, Nick Anderson was never the same player again.

Yes but that was due to injuries Penny only played in 59 games during the 1996-1997 season and yet still was the reason why Orlando didn't get swept to Miami in the 1997 playoffs when he had back to back 40 points games in games 3 and 4 of the series. He became the first player in NBA history to score 40 points in back to back playoff games and the first player to do that aganist a Pat Riley coached team. It was pretty much all downhill from there other this his early stint in Pheonix and the 200 playoffs. The microfracture surgery robbed him off his athleticism and he was never the same. You could argue Anderson was never the same player after Game 1 of the 1995 Finals when he infamously missed 4 free throws that would have sealed the game for Orlando. He lost confidence in himself and was afraid to go to the line.
Yeah it worked out but i believe if Penny stayed healthy and i agree Hill wasn't a good coach with better coaching Orlando could have won titles with Shaq and Penny

#8 OFFLINE   32Dayz

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:45 AM

Yeah it worked out but i believe if Penny stayed healthy and i agree Hill wasn't a good coach with better coaching Orlando could have won titles with Shaq and Penny

I agree with this.
Had Anderson not choked in G1 of the 95 Finals and had both him and Scott not played so horrifically the entire series I think they could have pushed that series to 6, maybe 7 games and possibly won that series.

Assuming Penny stays healthy and they find a couple of decent roleplayers to fill out the roster that wouldn't crumble under the pressure of the playoffs they could have stayed contenders for many, many years together.

Shaq and Penny were pretty good friends in Orlando and they didn't have beef with eachother.
Shaq didn't like the fact that Penny demanded to be the highest paid player on the team and that the organization/coach wouldn't guarantee him being the primary focus on offense but in terms of his personal relationship with Penny they never had any issues.

Shaq and Penny actually have recently worked together on some TV shows and own a barbershop together they are closer now probably then they were back then.

In the end the main reason Shaq left was because Orlando made some mistakes.
#1. -Low balled him.
#2. -Played games using the public media / newspapers.
#3. -Didn't guarantee him that the offense would be run through him.

This allowed Jerry West to befriend him, offer him a higher contract and secure him and by time they raced back to match the Lakers offer it was too late as Shaq had promised.

#1 and #2 were the main reasons he left imo although #3 may have also played a small role in his departure.

#9 OFFLINE   Joah™

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:45 AM

Money. Also if I remember correctly, Shaq didn't like the manegment or coach Brian Hill.

thats correct. the Lakers had a lot more money, and a better chance to win a championship because they had other talent besides shaq I.E. Kobe. and he wasn't a fan of the managment.

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#10 OFFLINE   32Dayz

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:51 AM

thats correct. the Lakers had a lot more money, and a better chance to win a championship because they had other talent besides shaq I.E. Kobe. and he wasn't a fan of the managment.

Kobe was a nobody back then and Shaq signing with them had nothing to do with him.
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#11 OFFLINE   Joah™

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:53 AM

Kobe was a nobody back then and Shaq signing with them had nothing to do with him.
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I'm saying that LA had more young talent and potential. i didn't say that Kobe was as good as he was now before shaw went to LA.

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#12 OFFLINE   32Dayz

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:58 AM

I'm saying that LA had more young talent and potential. i didn't say that Kobe was as good as he was now before shaq went to LA.

I guess so.
Jones and Van Exel were considered relatively good players and I guess Kobe could be considered young talent and potential.

Penny at the time was much better then any of those guys though.
Still I get what you're saying.

#13 ONLINE   Saint Nick C

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:31 AM

Yes but that was due to injuries Penny only played in 59 games during the 1996-1997 season and yet still was the reason why Orlando didn't get swept to Miami in the 1997 playoffs when he had back to back 40 points games in games 3 and 4 of the series. He became the first player in NBA history to score 40 points in back to back playoff games and the first player to do that aganist a Pat Riley coached team. It was pretty much all downhill from there other this his early stint in Pheonix and the 200 playoffs. The microfracture surgery robbed him off his athleticism and he was never the same. You could argue Anderson was never the same player after Game 1 of the 1995 Finals when he infamously missed 4 free throws that would have sealed the game for Orlando. He lost confidence in himself and was afraid to go to the line.
Yeah it worked out but i believe if Penny stayed healthy and i agree Hill wasn't a good coach with better coaching Orlando could have won titles with Shaq and Penny

I explained why Shaq left. I don't really mess around in the world of "what if's"... it's pointless until someone builds a time machine. Like I said... Penny would soon become a shell of his former self... The folllowing season was the last season he scored more than 17 points a game (rounding up).

If I was to play along... I still believe that Penny would of still gone down. Dennis Scott would still try and see how many hotdogs he could fit in his mouth at once. Horace Grant was out of his prime. And Nick Anderson was a headcase. Brian Hill is still a crappy coach... I also think that Shaq would of been injury prone like he was the following three years he was in Los Angeles. SO... your title teams would be missing it's best players for most of the next 3 seasons, but been good enough to stay out of the lottery.... I don't see how this makes them a title team.

If I live in fantasy land... and pretend that Shaq and Penny never would get hurt, then yeah... obviously the two are talented enough that they could of won a couple of titles. But again you have to account if they could keep their relationship together as Shaq was... again in his own words, "jealous" and that Penny wanted to be seen as the "leader" and their coach and their teammates.

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#14 OFFLINE   32Dayz

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:03 PM

Shaq was... again in his own words, "jealous" and that Penny wanted to be seen as the "leader" and their coach and their teammates.


Shaq never said that.

Shaq : "I wanted to stay in Orlando"
Shaq : "Leonard called me up and said Juwan Howard had signed for $105 and Alonzo Mourning had signed for $110 million.
Now the market was set. Orlando had to pay me $100 million. In fact, we asked for $115 million. But they wouldn't.
I asked John Gabriel why they wouldn't pay me what I knew I deserved and he said, "We don't want to upset Penny. We can't pay you more then Penny.""

So in his own words it was because they wouldn't give him the contract he deserved and basically chose to make Penny the first priority over him.

*Leonard is Shaqs agent

If they hadn't played games and simply paid Shaq what he was worth they could have kept him.

#15 OFFLINE   Flash D3

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:05 PM

Shaq said because Lakers offered him more money, he would've loved to stay in Orlando but they didnt wanna pay him as much as he wanted

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#16 ONLINE   Saint Nick C

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:20 PM

Shaq never said that.

Shaq : "I wanted to stay in Orlando"
Shaq : "Leonard called me up and said Juwan Howard had signed for $105 and Alonzo Mourning had signed for $110 million.
Now the market was set. Orlando had to pay me $100 million. In fact, we asked for $115 million. But they wouldn't.
I asked John Gabriel why they wouldn't pay me what I knew I deserved and he said, "We don't want to upset Penny. We can't pay you more then Penny.""

So in his own words it was because they wouldn't give him the contract he deserved and basically chose to make Penny the first priority over him.

*Leonard is Shaqs agent

If they hadn't played games and simply paid Shaq what he was worth they could have kept him.

Yes he did actually. I got that right from the horses mouth.

Thanks tho.

Also please refrain from commenting on my Shaq related posts... Anything not Shaq Daddy related... go for it. Otherwise I'm not interested in your opinions about Shaq real or false.

I'm being nice about this.

Thanks.

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#17 OFFLINE   32Dayz

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:29 PM

Yes he did actually. I got that right from the horses mouth.

Thanks tho.

Also please refrain from commenting on my Shaq related posts... Anything not Shaq Daddy related... go for it. Otherwise I'm not interested in your opinions about Shaq real or false.

I'm being nice about this.

Thanks.

I don't have any false opinions and if you don't want to read my Shaq related posts you are certainly not forced too.
What I posted was straight from Shaqs book so it seems pretty reliable.

He never says anything about having issues with Penny personally or being jealous of him or even being concerned about what he was up too or what roles he wanted to take on the team.
Seeing how close they were prior to him leaving and in the years afterwards I tend to believe him on this one.

Being nice as opposed to what?
May I ask where you heard Shaq say this? Did he say it to you personally?

#18 OFFLINE   TeoTheGreek13

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:33 PM

I don't have any false opinions and if you don't want to read my Shaq related posts you are certainly not forced too.
What I posted was straight from Shaqs book so it seems pretty reliable.

He never says anything about having issues with Penny personally or being jealous of him or even being concerned about what he was up too or what roles he wanted to take on the team.
Seeing how close they were prior to him leaving and in the years afterwards I tend to believe him on this one.

Being nice as opposed to what?
May I ask where you heard Shaq say this? Did he say it to you personally?

Would he admit that (especially the red part)?! :smile:

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#19 OFFLINE   32Dayz

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:35 PM

Would he admit that (especially the red part)?! :smile:

Don't know but it doesn't seem sensible to just assume he was when he specifically states the reasons for him leaving the franchise not being related to anything but money.

Maybe he was but I since they got along very well before and after he left and since he gave reasonable reasons for his decision to leave I tend to simply believe him.

We can never know for sure obviously and the truth is not always made public.

#20 OFFLINE   TeoTheGreek13

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:36 PM

Don't know but it doesn't seem sensible to just assume he was when he specifically states the reasons for him leaving the franchise not being related to anything but money.

Maybe he was but I since they got along very well before and after he left and since he gave reasonable reasons for his decision to leave I tend to simply believe him.

We can never know for sure obviously and the truth is not always made public.

If you ask me, Hollywood and money were the 2 biggest factors that made him leave Orlando.

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