NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal unveiled a little-known chapter of his career, revealing his earnest efforts to secure a trade to the Dallas Mavericks during his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers.

In a candid revelation, Shaq acknowledged, “Trust me, I tried to get to Dallas many times. Me and Mark [Cuban] was working behind the scenes…Mark was the first person I called, but [former Lakers general manager] Mitch [Kupchak] didn’t want to trade me to Mark,” via ClutchPoints.

Despite his concerted efforts, Shaq encountered resistance from Lakers management, particularly then-general manager Mitch Kupchak, thwarting his aspirations of donning the Mavericks jersey.

Reflecting on his attempts to orchestrate the move, Shaq recalled reaching out to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in hopes of facilitating the trade. He added, “Whatever you got to do to get me there. He’s [Cuban] like: ‘The Lakers won’t do it, man,’ and I was like: ‘Make them do it, Mark.'”

Had the trade materialized, Shaq’s partnership with Dirk Nowitzki could have potentially altered the landscape of the NBA, offering a formidable tandem capable of challenging the league’s elite.

Interestingly, fate intervened as Shaq found himself competing against the Mavericks in the NBA Finals shortly after his departure from the Lakers.

The showdown between Shaq’s Miami Heat and the Mavericks in the championship series provided a tantalizing glimpse of what could have been, as Shaq secured his fourth NBA title with the Heat.