In the early 2000s, Shaquille O’Neal and John Salley were more than just teammates, they were close friends. There was a point when the Los Angeles Lakers champions spent more time together than they did with their own families as they worked overtime to secure the NBA’s coveted title, and with those shared memories comes stories that are unveiled during candid interviews years later.
Salley recently sat down with VladTV and spoke about a few memorable Shaq moments, including accusations that the former NBA star would pay women hush money. Salley said he never believed that would happen, and if anything, Shaq paid women to go away. He shared a chuckle-worthy story about his friend that included a woman who bragged that Shaq gave her a few stacks to spend at the mall.
“I’m playing for the Lakers and they give us, like, per diem [of] $930,” he said. “The still gotta give Shaq one. Shaq has not cashed any of his NBA checks ’til this day. So they’re gonna give Shaq an envelope with $930. Guy makes $300,000 per game at this time. So this girl was talking, I’m now doing ‘Best AM Sports Show,” he stated, adding that the woman was trying to brag that she “kicked it” with Shaq. The woman shared that Shaq gave her $900 to go shopping, to which Salley corrected her and said, “Nine-hundred and thirty dollars. B*tch he gave you his per diem…I think it was this stripper chick bragging about she got a [grand]. No, you got $930. He cares nothing about it.”
“When I needed cash, he said, ‘How much?'” Salley later revealed. Shaq gave his friend the $70K he needed and when Salley returned to pay him back, Shaq Diesel wouldn’t take it. He went on to sing his friend’s praises as a smart businessman who’s “a real cat” that’s respected in and out of the league. Check it out below.