Shaquille O’Neal and Gary Payton almost had to put their hands on Pat Riley.
On July 14, 2004, the Los Angeles Lakers traded superstar Shaquille O’Neal to the Miami Heat for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a future first-round pick.
It paid off big time when he and Wade guided the Heat to victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals.
It wasn’t all peaches and cream as Shaq and Gary Payton were part of Ahmad Rashad’s NBA Inside Stuff 90s Reunion over the weekend and talked cursing Riley out and Shaq getting into a fight with the then-head coach.
“You know why I love G.P.?” O’Neal asked. “Because when I first got to Miami and Pat was calling all these plays and he was yelling at G.P.
G.P. is like, ‘Man fuck that shit man I’m throwing that motherfucker to Shaq, I don’t give a fukk what you say.”
“I had a fight with Pat Riley,” Shaq continued. “Gary Payton had to grab me from choking Pat Riley.
“You was going to choke him out too, boy,” Payton chimed in. “You should’ve choked him because I was going to choke him right after that.”
O’Neal averaged 18.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks during his three-plus seasons in Miami from 2004-08. He was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 2008.