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Why did Shaq leave Orlando?


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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. 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?

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Posted · Report post

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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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.

-IJS

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Kobe was a nobody back then and Shaq signing with them had nothing to do with him.

-IJS

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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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.

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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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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.

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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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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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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?

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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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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.

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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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I was born when this happened.. but still the power of Internet allows me to comment on this.

Shaq's pride was too big for him to say that he wasn't comfortable with Penny taking more attempts.

Carolina Panthers likes this

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Being nice as opposed to what?

As opposed to telling you how I feel about your Shaq related opinions.

May I ask where you heard Shaq say this?

You just did.

Did he say it to you personally?

Nope. Look it up. Many reports about Shaq's jealousy issues. Pick one.

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Nope. Look it up. Many reports about Shaq's jealousy issues. Pick one.

Umm what reports?

Sorry but if you are quoting an Anti-Shaq article that simply says Shaq was jealous without providing actual evidence then you have no legs to stand on.

Shaq had problems with Kobe not running the offensive correctly and occasionally not giving him his touches and eventually once they grew to hate eachother he wanted Kobe gone and said things like LA was his team etc... but that had nothing to do with jealously it had to do with him hating Kobe and again that whole thing was mostly Kobe's fault and that was when Kobe was bad mouthing him in the media aswell.

So... where else has Shaq shown jealously?

Kind of sounds like you just don't care for Shaq very much, oh well.

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Umm what reports?

Sorry but if you are quoting an Anti-Shaq article that simply says Shaq was jealous without providing actual evidence then you have no legs to stand on.

Shaq had problems with Kobe not running the offensive correctly and occasionally not giving him his touches and eventually once they grew to hate eachother he wanted Kobe gone and said things like LA was his team etc... but that had nothing to do with jealously it had to do with him hating Kobe and again that whole thing was mostly Kobe's fault and that was when Kobe was bad mouthing him in the media aswell.

So... where else has Shaq shown jealously?

Kind of sounds like you just don't care for Shaq very much, oh well.

LMAO!

My second favorite center ever. I ran into the man in San Francisco at restaurant I was a waiter at and talked to him for 30+ minutes...

I backed him as a Laker fan and then backed him when Kobe was acting like a [expletive deleted].

Yeah... you totally pegged me.

I don't care for Shaq at all.

Moving on...

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