Shaquille O’Neal Discards Gold Medal from Car Window After Losing Starting Position to David Robinson

Shaq reveals the time he threw his Olympic medal out the car window.
Shaquille O'Neal Threw His Gold Medal Out The Car Window After Losing His  Playing Time To David Robinson - Fadeaway World

NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal may be best known for his time with the Lakers but he’s also a 2x Olympic Gold medalist. In a story recently told on “The BIG Podcast,” O’Neal revealed the time he threw his gold medal out of the car window out of frustration for playing zero minutes in the game.

“In the gold medal game, Lenny Wilkens says, ‘This is probably David Robinson’s last game. So he’s gonna get more minutes.’ But he didn’t play me at all… I was so pissed I threw my gold medal out the car window. I threw it away on the highway.”

Olympic gold medals don’t just grow on trees, and Shaq’s audacity to chuck one out of his car window says a lot about how he viewed himself at the time.

Back in ‘96, Robinson was a respected veteran of the league and a sure-fire lock for the Hall of Fame. Most young players wouldn’t have thought twice about deferring to him during the final stretch of his career. For a young and unproven big man like Shaquille O’Neal, he was expected to accept whatever decision the coach made, and that meant sitting for the entire gold medal game. For the Diesel, however, Robinson was just another challenger and he was not happy with being asked to back down. Either way, that summer would end up being Robinson’s final stint for Team USA — and while they did take home the gold that year, O’Neal hardly felt that he earned the honor.

To this day, that medal has never been found, and it may be lying somewhere in the dirt, waiting to see the light of day again. Fortunately, as a 2x gold medalist, O’Neal still has plenty of hardware to show for his Olympic run, and he doesn’t seem to be losing any sleep over forfeiting such a priceless artifact.

Did Shaq Have A Beef With David Robinson?

As two of the greatest centers in NBA history, it’s no surprise that Shaq often rubbed shoulders with David Robinson. During the height is his powers, the Admiral was a worthy opponent to O’Neal with career averages of 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game on 46% shooting.

His Spurs teams were regularly up there as the most competitive in the league and he retired in 2003 as a 2x champion, 10x All-Star, and 1x MVP. Against Shaq, David is 20-20 all-time but it’s the former Lakers star who has the edge in playoff matchups, going 9-8 against Robinson during his career.

At the time, it was largely believed that Shaq and Robinson were bitter rivals, and O’Neal gave off some heavy hints that he was not on good terms with the Spurs legend. But after setting the record straight on their relationship, we now know that David Robinson is Shaq’s all-time favorite player and a guy he idolized greatly during his basketball journey.

Today, Shaq claims the beef was entirely made up and that it was hard for him to treat David with hostility due to him being such a nice guy. According to O’Neal, he had to make up reasons to get angry at Robinson and use it as fuel during their matchups. Even so, it seems the former Lakers star will never forget what happened in the Olympics that year and what it cost him at the moment after losing his cool on the ride home.

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