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Coach: Shaquille O'Neal used to spar naked with NBA teammates

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Shaquille O'Neal tells Gordan Giricek he got off easy with a sleeper hold. (Getty Images)
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"Listen Gordan, it's OK to be nervous. Happens to everyone." (Getty Images)

So, you may have known that NBA great Shaquille O'Neal has trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (the base style of mixed martial arts) for years. What you may not have known, until now, is that he allegedly used to like to practice his BJJ with NBA teammates, naked.

According to former coach Alvin Gentry, Shaq would set up ambushes of teammates on the regular, where he would run after and tackle one, wearing nothing but a menacing smile (and perhaps his Jiu-Jitsu rank belt?). Gentry revealed the disturbing "prank" details in a recent interview.

"The thing that he did that he got to be notorious for is that, every few days or every week or so, he would decide that it was time for this Brazilian naked wrestling contest," Gentry said.

"You would never know who the chosen one was, but what would happen when you least expect it, this 7-foot, 310-pound guy would turn the corner, and he would be stark naked and he would run right at you full speed, grab you, he would take you to the floor and then he would do about five rollovers with you. And he would always tell our trainers who it was going to be, so they were always prepared for it, but you never knew who it was going to be."

Not even the coach was safe from such Shaq Attacks. "Yes, I was a victim of this," he said.

"I had to go to therapy a bit after that (laughs)."

Now that Shaq is retired from the NBA, maybe he'll make good on his promise to fight MMA. If he does, he'll surely need better training partners than untrained and terrified basketball players.

Who would you want to see a fully-clothed Shaq fight in an MMA bout? Let us know in the comments section.

For now, we'll just leave this weird video of a sweaty Shaq kissing a cut-out of UFC champ Chuck Liddell right here and walk away.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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