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Wilt Chamberlain Was Upset With Shaquille O'Neal After He Didn't Attend The 1996 NBA Awards Ceremony: "He Should Have Been There Just To Allow Himself To Take A Picture With All Those Great Guys On The Right."

Wilt Chamberlain Was Upset With Shaquille O'Neal After He Didn't Attend The 1996 NBA Awards Ceremony: "He Should Have Been There Just To Allow Himself To Take A Picture With All Those Great Guys On The Right."

As much as he was a monster on the court, Wilt Chamberlain was also one of the most outspoken players off the court. Wilt was known for his bold personality and the fact that he would be willing to say things that many other players just would not. But a player who would have a similar reputation down the line drew the ire of Wilt.

In 1996, the NBA named their 50 greatest players of all time, as part of their celebrations for the league's 50th anniversary. One player who was an obvious selection was Wilt Chamberlain, and he happily joined the group at the 1996 NBA Awards, where these players were photographed together.

One player who was absent from the event was Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq, who had only been in the league for 4 years at that point, had made the list due to his sheer dominance in that short time span. But he didn't attend the event, something that did not sit right with Wilt Chamberlain.

During an interview with radio host Howard Stern in 1997, Wilt Chamberlain revealed that O'Neal snubbed the 1996 NBA Awards ceremony. Wilt believes that Shaq should have been at the event, just so he could have gotten his picture taken with the fellow members of the 50 top players list (19:25 mark).

“No, he did not... Very, very much so. Because he should have been there just to allow himself to take a picture of all those great guys on the right."

On top of that, Wilt also spoke about his opinions of Shaquille O'Neal as a player. He thought that Shaq's dominance was more due to him getting away with overly physical play in the paint. Overall, Chamberlain was not overly impressed by Shaq's playing style in the early years of his career (0:15 onwards).

Shaq gets away with what I believe is murder. I think when you dip your shoulder and your run over the top of a guy and the guy is laying on the floor. You know you’re getting away with something. Shaq is allowed to score some points that maybe he wouldn’t get.

Credit: Sportscasting

Shaq had actually gotten to meet Wilt at Madison Square Garden, where he got a fairly stern handshake from Chamberlain as an introduction. 

Unfortunately, Wilt Chamberlain passed away in 1999, so he did not get to see the glory years of Shaquille O'Neal where he won three consecutive NBA championships with his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. But clearly, Wilt was not impressed by Shaq's play during the time he saw him play.