However, an off-field incident led to both being dismissed and they went on their separate ways with Shaq coming to Arizona and Paul winding up at Colorado.
Over three years later, the cousins will be facing off.
Shaq does not mince words when discussing Saturday's matchup and he realizes that one will come out on top of the other.
"I have other friends and relatives that play on teams, but they also play defense," Richardson said. "It's different when you actually get to go up against someone like Paul.
"It is fun actually guarding him. It's not like a tie, you make a play, I make a play. It is a loss or a win."
Both Shaquille and Paul know each other well, so it would be understandable if they nearly equaled the other's performance.
Instead, Shaq says that will not be the case and goes right back to the final result.
"It won't cancel each other out," he said. "Somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose. He knows a lot about me, I know a lot about him."
Richardson has been talking with his teammates because he has seen what Paul can do and does not want the same to happen to his defense.
"I don't want them to get burnt either like the 60-yard touchdowns he has been getting," Shaq said. "He is a great player. Smart, athletic, fast. Everything good you can say about a receiver."
In fact, Richardson believes that he may be faster than he has ever been.
"I think he is smarter than he is fast," Shaq said. "I'm not saying he is not fast, but coming off the ACL knee surgery, he picked his speed right back up. I think he is faster than he was."