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Shaquille opens up about almost beating a classmate to death and Kobe's death

It's fair to say that Shaquille O'Neal is one of the NBA's all-time greats. The center had a spectacular career playing for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat most notably.

Over his 20 seasons in the NBA O'Neal won the Play-offs four times and accumulated multiple individuals awards.

Following his retirement O'Neal become a media personality and businessman with his net worth rumored to be around 600 million dollars.

In a candid interview with People Magazine, O'Neal admits he almost killed a fellow classmate during school.

"Every time I went to a place, I made my name quickly," O'Neal stated.

"I'd find out who 'the guy' was, study him, and I'd beat him up. Take his spot. Everybody knew who I was.

"I almost killed a kid. They showed me the jail."

O'Neal admits he changed tact after this incident.

"I shifted everything into becoming the class clown," he said. "Just to make people like me. It was [another] mechanism for [dealing with my insecurity]. I wasn't a leader yet. I was a follower on the wrong path."

O'Neal also admitted he suffered from anger management issues, often destroying his own home following a poor game.

"After a bad game, especially if it was my fault, missed my free throws, I'd go crazy," O'Neal admitted. "I'd tear the house up. I was the Hulk."

O'Neal said the turning point came when he had children after he noticed his performances didn't impact their admiration for him.

"As soon as I saw my children's faces, I could transform," O'Neal continued.

"You come home, and they don't care about any of that. Forty points? It's 'Hey, Daddy!' Two points? 'Hey, Daddy!'"

O'Neal opens up about Kobe Bryant's death and his relationship with him

O'Neal also admits he regrets not patching things up with former teammate Kobe Bryant, who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident in 2020.

"I'll never see Kobe Bryant, in real life, ever again," O'Neal said.

"And I should have called him. I should have called. We both should have called... Call your mother. Call your brother. Call the friend you used to party with in college. Forever is a long time."

O'Neal's speech following Bryant's death

O'Neal gave an impassioned speech at the Staples Center following the death of his former teammate, here's what he said.

"As many of you know, Kobe Bryant and I had a very complex relationship over the years. But not unlike another duo of leaders, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, whose creative rivalry led to some of the greatest music of all time".

"Kobe Bryant and I pushed each other to play some of the best basketball of all time.... And, yes, sometimes, like immature kids, we would argue, fight, joke or call each other names. But make no mistake, even when people thought we were at each other's throats, when the cameras were off, he and I would wink at each other and say, 'Let's go kick some ass,'"

O'Neal finally admitted to People that he was still coming to terms with Bryant's death.

"I thought.... 'We're both going to get older'," O'Neal continued.

"We're both going to be at the 50th anniversary of the Lakers'. Other things shouldn't have been more important than getting in touch, but little things got in the way."

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