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Okay, so this story isn’t exactly a “Sports” one, but it’s an interesting one about Shaq, and it involves his rivalry with Kobe Bryant. Shaq is one of the best players in the history of the NBA, and while he may be more of a 10-time All-Star than a Hall of Famer, he has been widely recognized as one of the greatest players in the game’s history.

During his NBA career, Shaquille O’Neal proved himself as a player. But the talents of the great man did not stop there. Just ask Mark Madsen. Although Madsen is not very well known to basketball fans, he began his professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers. During that time, he developed a relationship with Shaq, and Big Aristotle tried to act as his Mormon to find a wife for his teammate.

Shaquille O’Neal and Mark Madsen played together for three seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers

word-image-1919 word-image-1920 Shaquille O’Neal and Mark Madsen stand together during a Los Angeles Lakers game. | Matt A. Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images When you think of Shaq’s time in Hollywood, you probably think of his successful – and sometimes rocky – relationship with Kobe Bryant. But two people, no matter how talented, do not make a basketball team. Every team needs role players like Mark Madsen. Madsen played at Stanford University and joined the Lakers at the end of the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft. His success didn’t take him to the Association, however; he spent three seasons in Hollywood, where he barely came off the bench and averaged 2.6 points per game. Despite his relatively modest accomplishments, he won two championship rings before leaving town to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite the difference in their stats and star status, Madsen and O’Neal have formed a good bond during their time together. On FS1 Fair Game , Shaq called the big man the cleanest man I’ve ever met in the NBA and said it was his duty to protect him. But their bond went even further. Overall, Shaq seems like a generous guy. Working with Madsen, Big Aristotle has taken his responsibilities as a teammate to the next level. Shaq was the most generous teammate I’ve ever written about, explained author Jeff Pearlman on the HoopsHype podcast. As for buying new costumes for team members, why not take them on the road and pay for them every time? Make Mark Madsen, become a Mormon for Mark Madsen. How did O’Neil play the matchmaker? The Deseret News provided a little more context. According to Perlman’s book, Circus of Three Rings. Kobe, Shaq, Phil and the crazy years of the Lakersdynasty, O’Neal once asked a flight attendant if she was Mormon, presumably to pair her with Madsen. This is not an isolated incident. The big man was also spotted at a restaurant in Redondo Beach asking female customers if they were Mormon.

Mark Madsen ended up getting married without the help of his famous friend

Although he clearly tried, O’Neill’s mediation efforts failed. But that doesn’t mean Madsen will be left alone. He married in 2016 with the help of his mother, not Shaka. As described in another Deseret News report, Madsen’s family had to find a replacement pianist at the last minute for a musical event, and piano teacher Hannah Harkness agreed to fill in. Madsen’s mother asked if she was single and showed him some photos of her son; Harkness and Mark corresponded, then called each other and eventually got engaged. That’s where the story began. Shaq hasn’t found a wife for his former teammate, but that doesn’t mean Madsen has forgotten about him. In fact, he still adheres to the advice the Lakers legend once gave him. I was nervous [when asked to guard Kevin Garnett in a playoff game], Madsen recalled. Shaq came up to me and said: Try not to do too much, but try not to do too little either. Something so simple. I’ve always thought of that. COMPARED TO: Shaquille O’Neal’s career changed forever after his father spanked him for imitating Magic Johnson

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