Skip to main content

Shaquille O'Neal Blames Himself For Orlando's 1995 Finals Loss: "It Was My Fault We Lost."

Shaquille O'Neal Blames Himself For Orlando's 1995 Finals Loss- "It Was My Fault We Lost."

Shaquille O'Neal is widely recognized as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. A 15x All-Star, 14x All-NBA Player, and 4x Champion, he's got quite an impressive resume.

But perhaps one of the greatest blemishes of his career is the 1995 Finals when he and the Orlando Magic got swept by Hakeem Olajuwon's Rockets.

In a recent interview with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, the legendary big man spoke about what happened in that series, and why he puts the blame mostly on himself.

"That was my fault we lost. As a leader, I didn't lead. After we beat the Bulls, I let up. 'We beat Mike, we straight.' We played in Houston before, Hakeem's gonna get 27. And we had 8 days off. Me and D-Scott were doing stuff we weren't supposed to be doing."

So, Shaq puts blame on himself for not stepping up and being prepared for the series. In his mind, once his squad beat the Bulls (which they did in the Semi-Finals), they were set and good to go.

Seems like confidence and inexperience really got the best of O'Neal, and he came in severely underestimating his opponent.

Of course, we know now that he would go on to win four Championships to mark one of the greatest NBA careers the world has ever seen.

But had Shaq came in with the right mindset, and the Magic come out victorious, who knows what could have happened?

(start at 8:10)