Shaquille O'Neal with GG Jackson Credit: Inside the NBA on TNT

GG Jackson was just six years old when Shaquille O’Neal retired from the NBA in 2011. But the Memphis Grizzlies rookie was beyond starstruck when he got a question from Shaq during a postgame interview on TNT.

Memphis notched a big upset win minus four starters in their traditional Martin Luther King Jr. Day slot on TNT, with the 19-year-old Jackson scoring a surprise 23 points off the bench. Jackson was then selected for the postgame walkoff interview with the Inside the NBA crew.

As soon as O’Neal spoke, Jackson’s face puckered to show his surprise.

“If people didn’t know who you were, they know who you are now,” O’Neal told Jackson, the youngest player in the NBA. “Congratulations on being ready.”

Jackson dished the love right back to the Hall of Fame center.

“It’s an honor to get to hear your voice,” Jackson said. “I appreciate you.”

Jackson was drafted 45th overall by the Grizzlies after an inconsistent one-and-done season at South Carolina. The 6-9 scorer then signed a two-way contract in Memphis and has spent most of the season in the G League. Tuesday was Jackson’s eighth game of the season.

Memphis is beyond shorthanded. Last year’s Western Conference 2-seed was without Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Desmond Bane, and Steven Adams.

O’Neal was already on the Miami Heat by the time Jackson was born. The rookie’s memories of O’Neal in the league are probably minimal.

But hearing the big fella’s dulcet tones after the game of his life got a heartwarming reaction out of Jackson.

[NBA on TNT]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.