Shaquille O'Neal dominated the NBA at his peak and put up some of the most impressive games. With such a storied career filled with memorable games, there is one game he views as the most notable of his career.
With so many games in his career, picking one game that stands out could be challenging. Still, during a recent interview with MARCA, Shaquille O'Neal revealed the contest that stood out.
"March 6, 2000. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers. A pitched battle in the inner city. I was 28 years old. I scored 61 points and had 11 dunks in three quarters. How can I forget that night?"
O'Neal was undoubtedly dominant in that game against the LA Clippers, and he had a good reason to be that night. O'Neal's birthday is on March 6, so he destroyed the Clippers on his 28th birthday.
Forgetting the level of efficiency and effectiveness that he put on display that night would be difficult for anybody. For O'Neal, who put on a spectacular performance, it had to be extra memorable.
Still, O'Neal remembers the spectacular performance for more reasons than what he gave in the interview.
Shaquille O'Neal reveals an interesting backstory behind his most memorable game.
During Shaquille O'Neal's basketball and post-basketball careers, he has shown how he handles things when they become personal. O'Neal delivers on his pettiness when the situation requires him to do it.
While preparing for his most memorable game, the LA Clippers gave O'Neal a reason to be petty and destroy them. Shaq spoke about the lead-up to the game during a previous interview. He explained why he did what he did to the Clippers.
Giving any player personal motivation can lead to disaster. Just watch The Last Dance, but Shaquille O'Neal took it to the highest level.
By forcing Shaq to pay for his friend's tickets, the Clippers put O'Neal in a state of mind to dominate them. Shaquille O'Neal wanted to punish the Clippers for disrespecting him, and he did so until his coach stopped him.
O'Neal's game against the Clippers may not have been the most meaningful because it was in the regular season. Still, Shaq unleashed an NBA finals Game 7 level of effort on the Clippers and sent a message.
Due to several factors at play for Shaquille O'Neal, it is easy to understand why the game was so memorable. Unfortunately for the LA Clippers and fans, O'Neal and the Lakers would also add to their championships that season.
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