The 1995 NBA Finals pitted two of the greatest big men in league history against each other, in Hakeem Olajuwon of the Rockets and Shaquille O'Neal, then of the Orlando Magic.
Hakeem the Dream got the better of Shaq Diesel in that series, but their showdown was serendipitous in that they apparently had already been inspiring parents across the land to bestow their memorable names upon their children.
Incredibly, that legacy is now personified in two NFL players who are now on the same team, in what can only be described as the kind of meta trivia that only sports nerds would appreciate.
With the Buccaneers' recent signing of offensive lineman Shaq Mason -- born Shaquille Olajuwon Mason in August 1993 -- he joins new teammate Shaq Barrett, whose parents dubbed him Shaquil Akeem Barrett when he arrived in November 1992, in following their namesakes into the ranks of professional sports.
Both players, according to Bucs reporter Greg Auman of The Athletic, were named after the Basketball Hall of Famers.
Is your mind blown? Ours is.
Sports stars named after prominent athletes of yesteryear isn't unheard of. Mickey Mantle's baseball-loving father, Mutt, named him after two-time All-Star catcher Mickey Cochrane. More recently, Robinson Cano was given his first name in honor of Brooklyn Dodgers great and civil-rights icon Jackie Robinson. NBA veteran Isaiah Thomas was named after the Pistons great of the same name (though Zeke's first name is spelled Isiah).
But two players whose names were both borrowed from two different players, and then ending up on the same team ... what are the odds?