Shaquille O'Neal has been a teammate of an NBA champ every year since 1983

Shaquille O'Neal has been a teammate of an NBA champ every year since 1983


Shaquille O'Neal has been a teammate of an NBA champ every year since 1983

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Shaquille O’Neal is a memorable teammate who, whether by coincidence or not, correlates past or future success.

For the 34th consecutive season, at least one player on the roster of the NBA champion has been teammates with the future basketball Hall of Famer. This season, someone on each team in the Conference Finals has played with O’Neal at some point.

As one user on the NBA subreddit pointed out, these are the players from this season:

Cavaliers  — LeBron James (2010, Cleveland)

Celtics —Avery Bradley (2011, Boston)

Spurs — Danny Green (2011, Cleveland)

Warriors — Matt Barnes (2009, Suns)

When the “Six Degrees of O’Neal” phenomena was introduced, here is what was said about the one possible exception (via ESPN):

The only playoffs outlier between this season’s Cavaliers or Warriors and the last non-Shaq-related champs was the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks. Sasha Pavlovic started 6 games for those Mavericks during 2010-11 but was let go during the season. After a brief stop in New Orleans, he joined Shaq in Boston. (The guard was also one of three players on Mark Cuban’s title team — with Caron Butler and Shawn Marion — who were part of the three trades that involved O’Neal throughout his career.)

It may seem like O’Neal has the biggest overall reach, though it’s worth mentioning various other players could have a similar statistic.

According to Basketball-Reference, O’Neal doesn’t hold the record for most franchises played for during his career. In fact, he doesn’t even come close. Nearly 200 people have played for seven or more teams, while O’Neal played for six.

With that in mind, here is one of Shaq’s teammates from each NBA champion since 1984.

1984 (Celtics)  George Kite (Magic, 1994)

1985 (Lakers) — Byron Scott (Lakers, 1997)

1986 (Celtics)  George Kite (Magic, 1994)

1987 (Lakers) — A.C. Green (Lakers, 2000)

1988 (Lakers) — A.C. Green (Lakers, 2000)

1989 (Pistons) —Dennis Rodman (Lakers, 1999) 

1990 (Pistons) — John Salley (Lakers, 2000)

1991 (Bulls) — Horace Grant (Lakers, 2004)

1992 (Bulls) — Horace Grant (Lakers, 2004)

1993 (Bulls) — Horace Grant (Lakers, 2004)

1994 (Rockets) — Robert Horry (Lakers, 2003)

1995 (Rockets) — Robert Horry (Lakers, 2003)

1996 (Bulls) — Steve Kerr (Magic, 1993)

1997 (Bulls) — Ron Harper (Lakers, 2001)

1998 (Bulls) — Ron Harper (Lakers, 2001)

1999 (Spurs) — Steve Kerr (Magic, 1993)

2000 (Lakers)* — Kobe Bryant (Lakers, 2004)

2001 (Lakers)* — Tyronn Lue (Lakers, 2001)

2002 (Lakers)* — Rick Fox (Lakers, 2004)

2003 (Spurs) — Steve Kerr (Magic, 1993)

2004 (Pistons) — Lindsey Hunter (Lakers, 2002)

2005 (Spurs) — Robert Horry (Lakers, 2003)

2006 (Heat)* — Dwyane Wade (Heat, 2008)

2007 (Spurs) — Robert Horry (Lakers, 2003)

2008 (Celtics) — Paul Pierce (Celtics, 2011)

2009 (Lakers) — Derek Fisher (Lakers, 2004)

2010 (Lakers) — Luke Walton (Lakers, 2004)

2011 (Mavericks) —Sasha Pavlovic (Celtics, 2011)

2012 (Heat) — Udonis Haslem (Heat, 2008)

2013 (Heat) — Ray Allen (Celtics, 2011)

2014 (Spurs) — Boris Diaw (Suns, 2009)

2015 (Warriors) — Leandro Barbosa (Suns, 2009)

2016 (Cavaliers) — LeBron James (Cavaliers, 2010)

*O’Neal was a member of that championship team

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