Shaquille O’Neal Almost Played Football, Instead Of Basketball

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal is one of the greatest big men to ever play in the NBA, but he almost didn't play basketball.

In a recent interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Shaq revealed that he decided to give up on football for basketball... after hearing about the contract unknown center Jon Koncak signed back in the late 1980s.

"I actually started out playing football," he said. "I was a hell of a tight end. As you know, I have wonderful hands, my hands are impeccable, and I like to punish people. But then a guy your size, hit me in my knee one day, I was all bummed out, and my dream came true. I was sitting on the couch and Jon Koncak signs for $15 million for three years. I was thinking, 'If I can make $5 million doing the basketball thing, I think I am going to switch up now ... true story."

According to Yahoo Sports, O'Neal might have his timeline and numbers mixed up, though.

The contract he is referring to is the 6-year, $13 million deal the Atlanta Hawks gave to Koncak, a back-up center, who averaged 4.7 points per game the year before. This deal came in 1989, but at that time, Shaq would've already been playing at LSU... shortly after Koncak signed the contract.

It's likely, Shaq is thinking of a different player, but either way, it's an interesting story... because the NBA may have never had the pleasure of watching such a dominant player as Big Shaq was during his playing days.