Shaquille O'Neal is one of the strongest, most dominant players of all time. He was a physical specimen that completely bullied around his opponents throughout his entire career, combining his freakish body with his great skills and brains.
However, even some of the strongest, most talented athletes in the world need something extra to push them to the edge and give them an advantage over their rivals. Let's not forget about the fact that they're also playing against the best of the best.
So, even a bulldozer like Shaquille O'Neal had to diversify his training in order to dominate, as he recently admitted that mixed martial arts were the reason why he was able to win four NBA Championships:
“MMA is the reason I became a champion. I always used to practice basketball. It wasn’t enough. Because when I played basketball, it was more wrestling. So when I trained MMA with Jon Burke, a friend of mine down in Orlando, I came back in the best shape of my life. That was in 2000. Won. Dominated,” the Big Diesel told Ariel Helwani of ESPN.
Some may try to take down his words by claiming he won his rings when he was at his prime, both physically and mentally. However, Shaq would shake them off by revealing that he never won an NBA Championship again after he quitted training MMA.
“So I’m a creature of habit. Did it again, won a second championship. Did it again, won the third championship. Got cute, got away from it, lost. Got traded to Miami, did it again, won the fourth championship,” Shaq concluded.
It's crazy to think what would've been of Shaq's career if he would've kept up this training, assuming it was indeed one of the main reasons why he won an NBA Championship. Perhaps, he would've ended up as the greatest player of all time.