It’s worth noting that Shaquille O’Neal’s decision to throw his Olympic gold medal out of his car’s window wasn’t based solely on Lenny Wilkens’ decision to bring him on so late. Far from it, he explained on “The Big Podcast with Shaq” that there had been a number of things adding to his frustrations over the years. 

For starters, he pointed out that he’d already felt snubbed years prior when he wasn’t selected for the original Dream Team for the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville, France. Sure, he was selected for Dream Team II when the USA played at the 1994 FIBA World Cup, but he believed even that was to placate him, post-snub. “They wanted to appease me and put me on the ’94 team, the World Games. We won that, then they put me on the Dream Team III,” he explained, using air quotes the entire time. 

As for when he was chosen for the 1996 Olympic Games, O’Neal also added in the podcast that he didn’t play much throughout the tournament, either. In fact, he mused that he got around 10 minutes of play time. And, no, he wasn’t willing to accept that him being a relative newbie compared to some of the other players played a part in that. As he jokingly noted when his podcast guest, Kirk Cousins pointed out that he may have been a little young in 1992, “Doesn’t matter … I was still Shaq.”

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