After Shaquille O’Neal (51) was given the all-clear for the clinic, there is now more good news about the NBA star. Because: The ex-basketball player has shown a good heart. This is confirmed by his former teammate Tyronn Lue (45).
The current Los Angeles Clippers head coach recalls a time in 1998 when Shaq gave him $20,000 when he needed it most. “I know you don’t have any money, take care,” Lue told The Pivot Podcast. “Shaq immediately made me feel welcome,” Lue said of the time he came to the league as an inexperienced point guard.
Foto: picture-alliance / dpa
Lue was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 1998 and later traded to the Lakers in exchange for Nick Van Exel. As a role-playing player, he had little playing time in his first three years with the Lakers, playing 61 games. But he was part of the two Lakers teams that went on to win back-to-back titles in the early 2000s. Lue says working with the veterans has helped him grow both as a player and now as a coach.
“Eddie Jones took me under his wing and showed me and taught me everything,” said Lue. “The first week I was in town he took me to the Century Club and I met Shaq the first night. Shaq said, ‘Man, glad you’re here. Come over to our house tomorrow and have a big meal, whatever.’”
Lue had his best years as a player after his time with the Lakers. In 2016 he became the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and won the championship. Since 2020 he has been the main person responsible for the Los Angeles Clippers on the sidelines and is now considered one of the best head coaches in the league. He is also one of the few role players in NBA history to make it to a head coaching position.