*Looks like Shaquille O’Neal’s appearance as a guest host on WWE Raw in 2009 wasn’t just for play.
The Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro revealed that the experience did rub off on the now retired basketball great as he put his wrestling skills to use during an incident involving his former Phoenix Suns teammate Gordan Giriček. The incident, as told by former Suns player Grant Hill, occurred in April 2008 after the Suns’ Game 1 loss to San Antonio in the playoffs.
Tension and “an awkward discomfort” from the loss spilled over into a verbal altercation between O’Neal and Giriček during a closed practice. The argument was so heated that O’Neal ended up putting a sleeper hold on Giriček, who passed out.
It’s not known how things turned with Giricek out after the incident, but one thing is known. At the time, he was only with the Suns six weeks. Although he played in the remainder of the season, that season would be Giriček s last.
The moral of the story: never mess with anyone bigger than you who can easily make your future in the NBA a brief transition into something that doesn’t include violent confrontations.