The list of what-ifs regarding Shaquille O’Neal‘s basketball career could go on and on. What if he had stayed in Orlando? What if he had never left Los Angeles? What if his body hadn’t quite broken down as it has in recent years?
All of those questions may be significant, but in a recent Outside the Lines, O’Neal revealed what may have been the biggest what-if of all.
What if Shaq had met up with Notorious B.I.G. at the Soul Train Awards after-party as expected on the night of Biggie’s murder? Wednesday marks the 14-year anniversary of the rapper’s death.
According to the Boston Herald, O’Neal was ready to go, but fell asleep before meeting up with the legendary rapper.
“I was in my condo. I had on a cold white suit, white hat and all that. I was on my way. I was dressed, ready to go,” O’Neal told ESPN.
“I just fell asleep. I woke up about 4 o’clock from a call from my mother,” Shaq added. “She said ‘Did you go to the party?’ I’m like, ‘No, what’re you talking about?’ She said, ‘You know, your friend was shot and killed.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ So then I hung up with her and called some people and they told me what had happened.”
If O’Neal had been with Biggie, he believes that with his bodyguard, Uncle Jerome, the two could have made a difference.
“I’ve always been a person that’s always been aware of my surroundings,” Shaq explained. “Thank God for Uncle Jerome from law enforcement. He sees everything. He sees everything. He taught me that. He’s always taught me that.”
O’Neal met the rapper, born Christopher Wallace, when he was in Orlando in 1993, and the two recorded a song together.