NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal is one of the bluntest individuals. O'Neal showed that quality again when reflecting on his ruthless dunk over former New York Knicks star Chris Dudley in 1999. The former LA Lakers superstar was one of the league's most competitive and dominant players.
He revealed that he took it as a sign of disrespect that the Knicks didn't double-team him during the game. This lack of double-teams led to him embarrassing Dudley in the post. Here's what Shaquille O'Neal said in an interview with 'The Pivot' podcast (h/t Legion Hoops):
“Because when I got the ball, and I’m looking. You motherf——s aren’t doubling? I take that as a sign of disrespect. You better double, triple me. I take it as a sign of disrespect.”
The dunk is a regular feature in almost all of O'Neal's career highlights. Here's a clip of it (via Landon Buford on Twitter):
At a 6'11", 235-pound frame, Chris Dudley wasn't the easiest to play against in the post. However, Shaq made him look smaller, using his brute strength to create space and dunk over him. The former league MVP showed no remorse after scoring. Shaq shoved the former Knicks center, producing one of the most disrespectful incidents in league history.
Shaquille O'Neal's mentality during his championship years with LA Lakers was key to his success
Shaquille O'Neal took time to achieve team success in the NBA. He was an instant hit with his numbers in the league. However, that didn't help him get close to a championship win. Before moving to the LA Lakers, O'Neal led the Orlando Magic to an NBA Finals appearance in 1995. However, the Houston Rockets swept the Magic in four games.
A year later, he left to join the Lakers but had to wait another four years before coming close to winning a chip. Legendary coach Phil Jackson took over the Lakers' job in 1999, changing the team's fortunes.
Meanwhile, the late Kobe Bryant also stepped up. However, without Shaquille O'Neal, LA would not have come close to winning a championship. They went on to win a hat-trick of titles, with O'Neal winning his first and only MVP in 2000.
Shaq was the Finals MVP on all three occasions. The Lakers also made their fourth NBA Finals appearance in five years with O'Neal as their leading man in 2004.