After his fruitful stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O'Neal decided to move on in his career. He was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, after the Lakers were forced to pick a superstar between Shaq and the legendary Kobe Bryant.
Although Shaq still had a few good years left in him, picking Kobe was the obvious choice for the Purple and Gold. In the longer run, it benefitted the Lakers greatly as Kobe went on to lead the team to two back-to-back rings in the future.
As for Shaq, he joined forces with a young Dwyane Wade. A draft class that featured LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony, it was D-Wade who was the first to win a ring in his career.
Wade did so back in 2006 with Shaq by his side. But in all honesty, Shaq was a secondary player to Wade throughout the postseason. Obviously, it was a new role for the big man, but he embraced it with full honesty.
In fact, he talked about his decision to 'pass the torch' to Wade in an interview with veteran NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith back in 2006.
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"There comes a time in every great player’s career where they have to pass the torch. And me at the tender age of 34, when you got a guy that young and that spectacular, I think it would’ve been foolish of me to try to average 40 points a game when you have somebody like that. So, basically what I did was, I just passed the torch to a humble guy. You know, a lot of people asked me to compare my three and I gave my Godfather answer. One is like Alfredo, one is like Sonnu and one is like Michael. So what did the Godfather do? What did I do? I made Dwayne an offer he couldn’t refuse."
As Shaq explained, Wade was simply insane during the 2006 NBA playoffs and almost single-handedly carried the Heat to the NBA Championship.
Shaq played a supporting role to Wade, and it did wonders for the duo. Had Shaq tried to steal the spotlight from Wade, it would have done more harm than good for him and the Heat.