Note to Steve “the Homer” True or anyone getting ready to interview Scott Skiles (and fans who might have missed this when I posted it a week ago).
Before you ask Bucks Coach Scott Skiles again about the fight he had with Shaquille O’Neal when they were teammates on the Orlando Magic, come to the Bob Boozer Jinx first. Homer, who interviewed Skiles last week on his ESPN Radio show (if you missed it, we’ve got the podcast featured on the Sportsbubbler Bucks main page), put the question to Skiles like this:
“The Living Legend: The intensity of Scott Skiles. So intense he reportedly once confronted then-Orlando Magic teammate Shaquille O’Neal for loafing in practice. True or false?
“Uhh, true, but it was in self-defense.”
“You don’t have to elaborate if you don’t want to,” Homer said.
“No, it was self defense.”
No is right. (Which is why, Homer, check here before you interview Skiles again.) ESPN’s Chris Sheridan got to the bottom of it last year and wrote the definitive “Skiles vs. Shaq story.” Let’s review:
The year: 1994
The stage: Magic practice floor on the road in Los Angeles.
Our narrator: Larry Krystkowiak, Magic reserve power forward.
The combatants: A young Shaquille O’Neal, Magic center; Krsytkowiak; Scott Skiles, Magic point guard.
The action: “Haymakers” thrown, Skiles “sorta” in a headlock, wrapped around Shaq, mayhem.
The instigator: Scott Skiles, of course.
The result: Mutual admiration society between Skiles and Shaq. Continued friendship between Skiles and Krystkowiak. Shaq and Krystkowiak? No hard feelings, respect. Magic win 50 games that season, Shaq’s second in the NBA.
Krystkowiak tells it far better than I do. Here’s that link again.