NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The long relationship between former LSU coach Dale Brown and former Tigers star Shaquille O’Neal will be featured next month in the popular SEC Storied series produced by ESPN Films.
Media covering the SEC men’s basketball tournament got an early screening Friday morning of “Shaq & Dale,” which will be the first of four SEC Storied documentaries to debut next month.
It will premiere on Monday, April 13 at 7 p.m. CDT on SEC Network. The SEC Storied series focuses on the people, teams, moments and events that tell the ongoing story of the conference.
The hour-long documentary focuses on a player-coach relationship forged in 1984 when Brown met a 13-year-old O’Neal on an Army base in Germany, which eventually led to both being inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame last November.
Even though O’Neal’s three-year career at LSU ended back in 1992, he and Brown have remained extremely close through the years.
“From 1984 to now,” O’Neal said poignantly, “there’s never been a time that Coach Brown hasn’t stuck up for me.”
Narrated by Louisiana native and country music superstar Tim McGraw, “Shaq & Dale” follows the pair on a sentimental journey that paints their relationship as more father-son than coach-player.
“He’s been emailing me once a week since email was invented,” O’Neal quipped before getting serious. “Never once has he asked me for anything.”
The documentary was filmed in February and September during O’Neal’s frequent visits to Baton Rouge and the LSU campus.
In addition to featuring some of the bigger games he played in during his time with the Tigers, O’Neal recounts his recruiting trip to the school — which included an LSU football game — and a visit to Brown’s home.
O’Neal’s funny side is shown when he visits his old dormitory room at Broussard Hall, which housed LSU athletes then, when he lies down and stretches his 7-foot, 1-inch frame over an undersized twin bed.
“The thing I liked best about Broussard Hall was you could eat for free,” O’Neal told Brown, who asked him if the food was good. “It was terrible, but it was free.”
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.