Shaq picked 4 Hall of Famers to present him, and explained why

September 7, 2016

Shaquille O'Neal will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, and usually inductees pick one person to present them, but Shaq being Shaq, he insisted on having four —€” all Hall of Famers.

The four presenters: Bill Russell, Julius Irving, Alonzo Mourning and Isiah Thomas.

Shaq's always expressed his reverence for Russell, among the NBA's greatest big men, and often said Dr. J was the one who inspired him to play basketball. But the selections of Mourning and Thomas were more of a surprise.

Shaq explained to ESPN why he had to have them.


On 'Zo: "We started out as enemies. Had a lot of tough battles together. And if it wasn't for Alonzo Mourning, I would only have three rings instead of four."

On Isiah: "Isiah Thomas was the one, along with Magic Johnson, who, you know, taught me how to be a leader and, you know, taught me how to take care of things off the court, business-wise."

Russell and Irving will be pulling double duty: The Celtics legend also will be a presenter for Yao Ming, while Dr. J also will be a presenter for Allen Iverson.

Presenters are strictly ceremonial, so don't expect any speeches. But some interesting selections, especially by Shaq.