Dennis Rodman, a name synonymous with both basketball greatness and wrestling theatrics, made his return to the world of professional wrestling after a 15-year hiatus, appearing in All Elite Wrestling (AEW). While Rodman’s wrestling career has seen its share of memorable moments, none are more infamous than his 1998 absence from a Chicago Bulls practice session due to a WCW Nitro episode. In his latest wrestling appearance, Rodman took a shot at none other than Shaquille O’Neal, reigniting a feud that spans both sports and personal rivalries.
The recent verbal jabs exchanged between Dennis Rodman and Shaquille O’Neal began when Shaq, a man known for his larger-than-life personality and forays into pro wrestling with WWE and AEW, took aim at Rodman in 2022. Rodman responded with a familiar mix of bravado and candor, saying, “When I was playing basketball, Shaq was that big, and I whooped his a**,” while pointing at a 7-foot-tall wrestler.
However, this feud is not a new development. Shaq had previously labeled Rodman as his “worst teammate” during his podcast, “The Big Podcast With Shaq.” The surprising part is that their personalities seemed to mesh well. Nevertheless, Shaq noted that while Rodman had talent, he played by his own rules, something that did not sit well with the team’s leader, Shaq himself.
Rodman and Shaq were teammates during the lockout-shortened 1998/1999 NBA season, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. While their partnership was short-lived, it left a lasting impression on Shaq, who later recalled stories of Rodman’s eccentric behavior. One particular anecdote involved Rodman arriving just 15 minutes before tip-off while casually munching on chicken and rice. It was clear that Rodman’s lack of punctuality and disregard for the coaches’ authority irked Shaq.
The feud between these two basketball legends didn’t stop at their playing days. Rodman has claimed that both Shaq and Kobe Bryant were envious of him during their time together. Their respective accomplishments and egos seemingly clashed, contributing to the ongoing animosity between them.
In March 2022, during the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team celebration, the rivalry between Rodman and Shaq resurfaced. Shaq expressed his frustration when Rodman arrived at the event with a distinctive jacket and proceeded to photobomb pictures of younger players. In Shaq’s eyes, this behavior was disrespectful and inappropriate for the occasion, which he believed deserved a certain level of decorum.
The recent AEW wrestling promo by Rodman might have been a lighthearted jab, but it underscores the fact that the animosity between him and Shaq runs deep. Their history of quarreling extends both on and off the basketball court, and it appears that this feud is far from over. With Shaq’s media appearances and active social media presence, and Rodman’s continued involvement in the wrestling world, it seems that these two iconic figures will continue to exchange barbs and keep fans entertained.
Dennis Rodman’s AEW debut has not only revived his wrestling persona but also reignited a long-standing feud with Shaquille O’Neal. While their respective careers have taken them from the basketball court to the wrestling ring and beyond, their rivalry has proven enduring. Whether it’s in the world of sports or entertainment, the tension between Rodman and Shaq continues to captivate audiences, reminding us that the drama and theatrics of professional wrestling often mirror the rivalries and controversies of professional basketball.