Shaq About Latter-day Saint Teammate: “He’s the Purest Guy I’ve Ever Met in the NBA.”

Shaq in interview talking about Mormon teammate.

“I don’t know much about Mormons or their religion, but Mad Dog—most rookies, when they come in, they go crazy. Including me. I went crazy … Mark was none of that. I had to protect him.”

That’s just a snippet of what Shaquille O’Neal had to say about former teammate and Latter-day Saint, Mark “Mad Dog” Madsen, in a recent interview.

“There’s twelve guys on the team, including Mark. Eleven guys are doing what guys with money do. And there’s one guy that’s not.”

The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Mark back in 2000 in the first round. He’s currently the head coach for Utah Valley University’s men’s basketball team.

Check out the full interview clip below (it’s less than four minutes long) to get a little more insight into the impression Mark left on the NBA legend. It’s worth your time:

Related: Mark “Mad Dog” Madsen on

The response on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive. Here’s a quick sampler platter:

Shoutout to Mark Madsen for standing as a witness of God “at all times and in all things, and in all places.” Thanks for the inspiration.

David Snell is a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He's the Founder of The Sunday Pews, and has experience writing for Mormon Newsroom Pacific, KBYU11, Classical 89 Radio, and plenty more. He tries not to take himself too seriously and just wants to brighten your day a bit.